The Applicability of Attardo's Set-up, Incongruity, Resolution Model on Unintentional Incongruities

  • Marwa Ziad Tariq the Department of English/ College of Education for Women/ University of Baghdad
  • Rana H. Al-Bahrani, .Prof. A specialist in Cognitive Linguistics & a lecturer at the Department of English/ College of Education for Women/ University of Baghdad


The present paper aims at investigating the flexibility of Attardo's model, Set-up, Incongruity, Resolution (hence SIR) in the analysis of a selection of unintentional humorous instances taken from the British sitcom 'Mind Your Language'. Accordingly, this model has been used in the analysis of three randomly selected discourses from a number of representative cases, where the total number of instances in these three selected discourses reached (11). Results have revealed that the set-up phase can be the same to a series of incongruities and resolutions that occur within the same discourse. Moreover, what is incongruous to one might not be so to another. Further, the resolution is not the end of the problem; it might lead to another incongruity. Finally, Attardo's model can be applicable with unintentional humor; however, the number of phases might not always be three; their sequence might not be the same; the reactions are different; the length of each phase also differs; and the resolution phase might be a base of a new incongruity


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