Investigation of Logical Mechanisms of Pre-school Children’s Humorous Productions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Linguistics, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Associate professor, Department of Linguistics, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


The objective of the present paper is to investigate the production of humor in pre-school children in linguistics point of view on the basis of Logical Mechanism Knowledge Resource. Logical mechanisms, along with and after Script Opposition, is the second most important variable in the General Theory of Verbal Humor. In this theory, Logical Mechanism accounts for the incongruity between two script oppositions. Participants in the present paper are 100 pre-school 4-6 years old children (50 girls and 50 boys), who were asked to tell a funny memory that happened to themselves. The children’s memories were video recorded and transcribed in special tables. The reason for a memory to be considered funny from children’s point of view is the incongruity of children’s memory. This incongruity was investigated on the basis of Warren and McGraw (2015) which is the most recent method of analysis for incongruity. In Warren and McGraw’s classification, the incongruity includes four logical mechanisms: surprise, atypicality, juxtaposition and violation. The results of the present investigation revealed that the participants used logical mechanism of surprise more than the other logical mechanisms. Logical mechanisms of atypicality and violation after logical mechanism of surprise are the most frequent logical mechanisms in children’s humorous memory constructions, while the logical mechanism of juxtaposition was the least functional in children’s humor productions. Regarding gender differences, it can be concluded that in pre-school children there was no meaningful difference in the types and numbers of humor productions between males and females. It was also revealed that logical mechanisms of surprise and atypicality had the highest frequency in children’s humor productions. The more frequent use of these two logical mechanisms showed a basic oppositon which is approvable in cognitive theories.


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Volume 10, Issue 1
June 2019
Pages 105-127
  • Receive Date: 26 December 2018
  • Revise Date: 13 February 2020
  • Accept Date: 09 May 2019
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2019