The role of conversational maxims, implicature and presupposition in the creation of humour: an analysis of Woody Allen’s anything else

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Humour is becoming the shelter of a dehumanised society that aspires to find happiness in different areas of daily life. This paper focuses on the analysis of humour in a specific realm, cinema, from a pragmatic perspective; the concrete movie studied is Woody Allen’s Anything Else. The analysis will cover various pragmatic concepts such as implicature, conversational maxims and presupposition, which will be approached in combination with rhetorical figures and taking into account humour theories on laughter. In this way, it is possible to dissect hidden meaning, which creates humour both in the level of the characters and in the level of the audience. In this sense, to be more specific, the intention is to show that by the use of various explicit and implicit linguistic elements found in the film transcription such as tropes, implicature or presupposition, the humour in the film is guaranteed. A quantitative analysis will be carried out on how verbal humour in communication displays the types, characteristics and usages of those three resources. The results show that the use of implicature and non-observation of the conversational maxims and its combination with rhetorical figures is much more abundant than the use of presupposition.