The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 10, No 1 (2022)

Lexico-semantic means of pun creation in Spanish jokes about La Gomera by Caco Santacruz

Lyubov Bobchynets


The research note deals with the analysis of lexico-semantic means used in the creation of the pun, such as homonymy, polysemy, and also morphological and syntactical means including re-grouping of syllables inside the phrase. Research material comprises puns by the Spanish author Caco Santacruz about the inhabitants of La Gomera Island.

The aim of the article is to reveal lexico-semantic ways of creation of the author’s jokes based on the use of the pun. Therefore, the definition of the pun in multilingual resources has been analysed. To reveal the ambiguity, the context in which the pun is used is needed, which we define as a communicative situation of ambiguity created by the author to reach the humorous effect.

Most of the analysed jokes contain a dialogue of two people who understand the meaning of the phrase in their own way, creating imaginary misunderstanding based on polysemy or homonymy. The regrouping of syllables and polysemic grammatical meaning of prepositions are among the morphological and syntactical means of pun creation. The means of making a pun used by Santacruz includes pseudo-words, based on the creation of new words on the analogy of word-formation to reach the humorous effect.

Future studies of the use of the pun as a source of humour may be focused on the analysis of linguistic means of pun creation on the material of other European languages in order to reveal the common patterns of pun creation and differences, conditioned by linguistic peculiarities of the correspondent language systems. The term ‘pun context’ may be applied to further studies of ambiguity created by the author.


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