Some Aspects of Paronomasia in Arabic Humor: Linguistic Perspective

Adnan Abumahfouz, Yasser Shboul


The present paper is an endeavor to give a deep insight into puns as an intrinsic source of Arabic humor. It explicates the different linguistic basis upon which punning rests. The paper also investigates the linguistic and cognitive dimension of paronomasia (punning). Linguistically speaking, the paper highlights the morphological structuring of a pun at the syllabic levels. At the phonological level of analysis, puns will be analyzed emphasizing the phonological resemblance and its role in activating humor especially in puns. Further, the paper sets out to explore the semantic motivation of puns where proper nouns and different sense relations such as polysemy, homonymy, homography, synonymy and homophony help activate the humorous aspect of a pun. The study also addresses paronomasia at both interlingual and intralingual level of analysis. Humor in Arabic can involve other languages like English. Furthermore, the study will shed light on incongruity which is core to paronomasia as it is the main stimulus to almost all kinds of jocosity.

Keywords: pun, humor, sense relations, semantic motivation, intralingual, interlingual, incongruity

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