A Cognitive Linguistics Account of Wordplay

Even though the ability to create witty puns seems to be an inherent skill of humankind, an apt explanation of their linguistic nature has evaded many academic descriptions.

This monograph offers a novel conceptual perspective on the creation of meaning observable beneath the surface of wordplay. The rationale for such an approach lies in the fact that language, and hence wordplay, is a cognitive phenomenon which involves some underlying complex mental processes, such as thinking in terms of image schemas, conceptual metaphor and metonymy, or blending, to mention just a few.

The book provides a survey of relevant linguistic research, introduces the main tenets of cognitive linguistics, and offers an analysis of wordplay in the light of available cognitive literature. The final outcome of this work is an array of intricate mechanisms that govern creation and comprehension of wordplay.

The book will be of interest to anybody who finds wordplay research appealing, no matter their level of expertise in the field.

Konrad Żyśko, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural Linguistics in the Institute of English at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland, where he completed his MA thesis on translation of wordplay in 2009 and his doctoral thesis devoted to the cognitive linguistics account of wordplay mechanisms in 2014. He has published internationally in linguistic journals and volumes, and his research interests are focused on cognitive studies of wordplay, as well as the pragmatic aspects of communication.

“[T]his book offers a comprehensive analysis of wordplay that abandons traditional views and focuses on a cognitive linguistics perspective. It is a valuable addition to the existing research on meaning construction, both in wordplay and in other instances of language where there are shifts between opposed or different mental spaces. Żyśko has created an indispensable tool for students and researchers interested in cognitive linguistics, wordplay, and creative uses of language.”
Marta Agüero Guerra
European Journal of Humour 7 (4)

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ISBN: 1-4438-1669-8

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-1669-4

Release Date: 16th December 2016

Pages: 177

Price: £54.99