Does Conceptual Integration Theory Possess the Cognitive Toolkit to Explain the Comic? Building Bridges Between Diverse Fields of Linguistics in Respect of the English Humour



Słowa kluczowe

cognitive linguistics
conceptual integration theory
conceptual blending
English humour

Jak cytować

Jabłońska-Hood, J. (2019). Does Conceptual Integration Theory Possess the Cognitive Toolkit to Explain the Comic? Building Bridges Between Diverse Fields of Linguistics in Respect of the English Humour. Półrocznik Językoznawczy Tertium, 4(1).


In this paper, I would like to display the workings of the mechanism of conceptual integration theory (CIT for short), aka blending, as envisaged by Fauconnier and Turner (1998 & 2002). I wish to demonstrate that blending is a potential candidate for a humour theory. On the basis of a few chosen examples of English humour, specifically a joke, a cartoon and a scene from a sitcom, I hope to prove that CIT possesses a toolkit for an in-detailed analysis of any humour type. Further, I wish to argue that some examples of comedy may require the cognitive procedure of frame-shifting alongside CIT, in order to account for the funniness in a systematic way. Frame-shifting is a term proposed by Seana Coulson to be used in joke analysis (Coulson 2017). I would like to point to the fact that it may boost CIT in humour explanation. Yet it needs to be stressed that frame-shifting on its own canntot explain humour. It ought to be regarded as a parameter to be included within CIT. Further, it is especially important to verify whether or not frame-shifting is always obligatory when studying comedy. Certainly, it is valid for shorter pieces of discourse, but its presence may not be required for all the other types of humour. The paper aims to refer to this issue in conclusive remarks, following the analysis of the comic. Additionally, I would like to demonstrate that blending can function as a higher-order theoretical paradigm which explicates humour origin and which interlinks with other well-established processes involved in any comic study, e.g. incongruity perception and/or resolution. I put forward that CIT is capable of complementing incongruity resolution theories in its power to explain the source of the comic. What is more, I would like to postulate that in its power to throw light on the humour source and origin, CIT may be assigned the status of a cognitive tool with which to explicate humour.


Blakemore, Diane. Understanding Utterances. An Introduction to pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1992.

Brandt, Line and Per Aage Brandt. “Making sense of a blend. A cognitive approach to metaphor.” ,, accessed November 15, 2007

Bronte, Geert, Kurt Feyaerts, and Tony Veale, editors. Cognitive Linguistics and Humour Research, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GMBH. 2015.

Coulson, Seana. “Frame-shifting and frame-semantics: Joke comprehension.” Cognitive Linguistics and Humour Research edited by G. Bronte, K. Feyaerts, T. Veale, Walter de Gruyter GMBH, 2015, pp. 167-190.

Evans, Vyvyan & Melanie Green. Cognitive Linguistics. An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd. 2006.

Fauconnier, Gilles. Mental Spaces: Aspects of meaning construction in natural language. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. 1994.

Fauconnier, Gilles. Mappings in Language and Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1997.

Fauconnier, Gilles. “How Compression Gives Rise to Metaphor and Metonymy”,, accessed September 5, 2010.

Fauconnier, Gilles and Mark Turner. The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities. New York: Basic Books, 2002.

Fauconnier, Gilles and Mark Turner. “Mental spaces. Conceptual integration networks”. Cognitive Linguistics. Basic Readings, 2006, pp. 303-371.

Fauconnier, Gilles and Mark Turner. 2008a. The origin of language as a product of the evolution of Modern Cognition. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from

Fauconnier, Gilles and Mark Turner. “Rethinking Metaphor.”, Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought edited by R. Gibbs, New York: CUP. 2008B, pp. 53-66.

Grady, Joseph E., Todd Oakley and Seana. Coulson. “Blending and Metaphor.”, accessed October 15, 2006.

Jabłońska-Hood, Joanna. “A Conceptual Blending Theory of Humour. Selected British Comedy Productions in Focus”. Łódź Studies in Language, 36, edited by Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk & Łukasz Bogucki, Frankfurt: Peter Lang GmbH. 2015.

Jarsz, Hugh. Laugh, crackle & howl joke book. London: Carlton Books Limited. 2008.

de Jongste, Henri 2016. Mental models and humorous intent. Journal of Pragmatics, ,accessed: May 20, 2016,

Langacker, Ronald. “A dynamic usage-based model.” Usage-Based Models of Language. (1-64). edited by M. Barlow and Suzanne Kremmer Stanford, USA: CSLI Publications. 2000.

Langacker, Ronald. Wykłady z gramatyki kognitywnej. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mario Curie-Skłodowskiej. 2005.

Mowat, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine (eds.). Shakespeare's Sonnets. New York: Washinton Square Press. 2004.

Steen, Francis and Mark Turner. “Multimodal Construction Grammar.” Language and the Creative Mind edited edited by M. Borkent, B. Dancygier & J. Hinnell. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. 2014, pp.255-274.

Tomassello, Michael (1995). Joint Attention as Social Cognition. In Ch. Moore & P. Dunham (Eds.). Joint Attention: its Origin and Role in Development. (pp, 103-130). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Turner, Michael 2010. “Blending Box Experiments, Build 1.0.”,, accessed February 10, 2014

Turner, Michael. The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark. New York: OUP. 2014.

Turner, Michael, “Blending in Language and Communication.” Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics edited by Ewa Dabrowska & Dagmar Divjak , Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 2015.

Tendhal, Michael & Raymond W. Gibbs. 2007. “Complementary perspectives on metaphor: Cognitive Linguistics and relevance theory”,, accessed on 14 December 2010.

Tomassello, Michael. “Joint Attention as Social Cognition.” Joint Attention: its Origin and Role in Development edited by Chris Moore and Philip J. Dunham, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.1995, pp. 103-130.

Turner, Mark 2010. "Blending Box Experiments, Build 1.0.", as accessed on 10 February 2014.

Turner, Mark. The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark. New York: OUP. 2014.

Turner, Mark. "Blending in Language and Communication". In Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics edited by Ewa Dabrowska and Dagmar Divjak. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 2015.

Creative Commons License

Utwór dostępny jest na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa – Użycie niekomercyjne – Bez utworów zależnych 4.0 Międzynarodowe.

Prawa autorskie (c) 2019 Półrocznik Językoznawczy Tertium


Brak dostęþnych danych do wyświetlenia.