Figures of contrast as a tool for creating comic effect in standup comedy discourse

State University of Education
Issue 51

The article is devoted to the study of the peculiarities of using figures of contrast (antithesis, acrothesis) in the discourse of stand-up comedy in order to achieve a comic effect and to influence the target audience. The authors describe stand-up in terms of discourse. According to the study, antithesis, as a stylistic device based on the contrast of elements of the statement, is widely used by stand-up comedians to attract the attention of the audience and humorously convey complex ideas.  The authors of the article set their tasks to identify and classify examples of antithesis use in stand-up comedy performances; to analyze the strategies of achieving comic effect based on the identified examples and, based on antithesis and acrothesis, in combination with the stylistic device of irony. The paper describes semantic and syntactic variations of antithesis in standup comedy discourse, expressed both implicitly and explicitly. The results of the study show that standup comedians skillfully use antithesis in the creation of their works to compare opposing concepts, use negation and play based on the use of direct and figurative meanings of words, and manipulate semantic and syntactic structures. Understanding the basis for the use of such figures of contrast as antithesis and acrothesis in standup comedy discourse will allow us to understand this complex sociolinguistic and global cultural phenomenon. This use of figures of contrast helps standup comedians to create a polymodal communicative space by provoking an emotional response in the target audience and then engaging in a dialog with the actor, without requiring complex intellectual actions that can cause a delayed response.

For citation

Akhrenova N.A. & Galtsov P.I. (2023). Figures of contrast as a tool for creating comic effect in standup comedy discourse. Issues of Applied Linguistics, 51, 87-113.

This artiсle is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.