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CJLS: VOL. 8 NO. 2, DEC. 2020

Register as a Discursive Strategy of Humour in Casual Interactions among Southwestern Nigerian Undergraduate Students

January 21, 2021


Studies on humour in Nigeria have largely focused on the manifestation of humour in standup comedies, computer-mediated communication and literary texts. However, the potentiality of humour as a discursive strategy in face-to-face casual interactions has not received sufficient scholarly attention. With data collected from four higher institutions from the southwestern Nigeria through surreptitious recordings of interactions among students on campuses, a total of nine purposively chosen samples were analysed drawing from three humour theories (relief, superiority and incongruity) and pragmatic act theory. The analysis reveals enactment of verbal humour through the use of jargon from academic, political and religious fields of discourse embodied in humour techniques such as punning, teasing, retort, witticism and lexemes. Pragmatic with communicative functions such as avoidance of vulgarity, expression of optimism and mockery are implicitly conveyed in the interactions.