Blurred lines or Word crimes? On cognitive linguistic contributions to the study of musical parody by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

Obrazek miniatury
Milić, Goran
Tytuł czasopisma
Tytuł tomu
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego
The paper argues for the multiple advantages of applying cognitive linguistic concepts and frameworks to the study of basic mechanisms and conceptual, pragmatic and social aspects of musical parody a as a polyvalent, flexible, multimodal phenomenon, understood both as a musical genre which revolves around replication or imitation of pre-existing music, and as a comedic statement utilizing the latter technique. Points of convergence, and important differences, between traditional concepts offered by the most influential linguistic theories of humour, viz. Raskin’s (1985) Semantic Script Theory of Humour and Attardo & Raskin’s (1991) General Theory of Verbal Humour, are addressed, with particular emphasis on how the status and treatment of concepts of incongruity and its resolution are accommodated within the interpretative frameworks of frame- shifting (Coulson, 2001) and Blending Theory (Fauconnier & Turner, 2002). Both emerge as useful heuristics offered within the cognitive linguistic paradigm and suggested as applicable to (multimodal) humour research. These are argued to encompass and cater for both the sequential and the (predominately) non-sequential aspects of incongruity resolution (Ritchie, 2009) underlying musical parodies as sources of humorous amusement. Further motivating factors for the development and appreciation of parodies as humorous stimuli, such as the role of (word) play and listener familiarity with the borrowed music are addressed by focusing on the description of the distinctive cognitive-cultural mechanisms and goals underlying the opus of a particular artist, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, by applying the abovementioned concepts and interpretative frameworks to the analysis of the techniques and goals behind his use of comedy music.
Słowa kluczowe
humour , musical parody , incongruity , blending , frame-shifting
Studia Anglica Resoviensia T. 20 (2023), s. 88-108