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Title: 'Feck off!' : exploring the relationship between impoliteness, laughter and humour in the British-Irish sitcoms 'Father Ted', 'Black Books' and 'The IT Crowd'
Author: Cronin, Marianne Eve
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3372
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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Despite the pervasive presence of linguistic impoliteness in many of Britain's most celebrated situation comedies, there has been little research on the relationship between impoliteness and humour in the sitcom. Likewise, while research has identified entertainment as an outcome of impoliteness, there has been little emphasis on humour. The present research explores the relationship between linguistic impoliteness and humour in 54 episodes of the BAFTA-winning British-Irish sitcoms Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd (Channel4). In order to address earlier stylistic studies' over-reliance on researcher intuition in identifying humour, the study uses audience laughter as confirmation of successful humour uptake. Applying a triangulated impoliteness analysis using the frameworks of Spencer-Oatey (2000), Culpeper (2011) and Leech (2014), the study finds that impoliteness is prevalent in the sitcoms studied, with 151 impolite utterances per hour and an average of 2.5 impolite utterances per minute. Exploring the distribution of impoliteness strategies, the results show a clear preference for impoliteness that attacks freedom and personal qualities. Results also showed that character-led differences in impoliteness contribute to characterisation. Most importantly, the thesis finds a statistically significant relationship between utterances containing impoliteness and audience laughter responses, pointing to a relationship between impoliteness and humour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics ; PN1990 Broadcasting