Humor is a very intriguing and fascinating phenomenon of human society, which is multidimensional, complex and all pervasive. Therefore, many scholars and experts at all times and in all over the world have done profound research on humor.
The significant functions of humor have aroused the interest of many scholars. About 2,000 years ago, people began the research on humor. However, the study of humor is not a simple task for the reason that it is an interdisciplinary science drawing upon a wide range of academic disciplines including biology, psychology, sociology, philosophy, geography, history, linguistics, literature, education, family science, and film studies and so on. Moreover, there are different reasons and purposes for humor. One may wish to be sociable, cope better, seem clever, solve problems, make a critical point, enhance therapy, or express something one could not otherwise express by means of humor.
Within the 20th century, linguistics has developed greatly in almost every area of the discipline from sounds, words and sentences to meaning and texts. Meanwhile, linguistic studies on humor have also extended considerably to social, cultural, and pragmatic concerns. One of the most noticeable achievements in linguistics over the past few decades is the development of pragmatics. It is not long before scholars apply pragmatics into humor analysis. The purpose of this thesis is to exploit the mechanisms of the generation and perception of humor from the pragmatics perspective. It is carried out with the help of the application of Cooperative Principles and its maxims; Furthermore, the author also wants to probe into the obstacles which prohibit the English learners from understanding and appreciating the humorous utterances in Friends as well as in daily life. Furthermore, the author wants to discuss the possibility and effects of using humor in English teaching classes.
The significance of the study, First of all, for people who are interested in humor and pragmatics or studying this topic, this thesis may be able to help them as a means of reference to study about English humor as well as its relation with the function of speech. Moreover, it is very interesting to study comedy film-sitcom, since it can give different points of view in studying language. What the author means is that mostly people observe the phenomena of language in serious or ordinary situation but in comedic situation, there is a different set of situation where people sometimes may act uncooperatively or impolitely to achieve the humorous scene. This kind of scene may look awkward and unusual, but it can also happen sometimes in real life, whether the people realize it or not. The author also thinks it would be very interesting to know the way in which humor is generated from the linguistic point of view. And the humorous teaching approach would make a contribution to the students of English learning by improving classroom atmosphere, reducing class tension and increasing the rapport between students and teacher.