Metaphor as a means of creating a humorous effect in Bulgarian media texts


linguistic and cultural situation
media text
humorous effect

How to Cite

Stoyanova, E. V. (2021). Metaphor as a means of creating a humorous effect in Bulgarian media texts. The European Journal of Humour Research, 9(1), 44–56.


The paper is devoted to the questions of metaphor as a linguistic means and cognitive mechanism for creating a humorous effect in Bulgarian media texts. There is a similarity between the nature of metaphors and the humor, the ability of perception which refers to the evolutionary acquisition. The relationship of metaphor and humor is manifested in the comparison of the contradictory and the combination of the disproportionate. The humorous effect created by the metaphor in the media discourse is included in the general context and is the result of deliberate efforts, in accordance with pragmatic, linguistic and cultural settings. Despite the universality of humor and metaphor, the interpretation of knowledge, modeled by a comic metaphor, is governed by the sociocultural factor. The implicit functions of the metaphor fit into the functional and pragmatic parameters of media discourse, making the metaphor an integral part of media speech. The collected material allows us to conclude that there are single comic metaphors in Bulgarian media texts, or metaphors create the humorous effect of a fragment / whole media text based on one or more metaphorical models. Increasingly, in a modern Bulgarian media discourse, a metaphor is implemented as a construct script for the semantic development of the text.


Aristotle (2000). Ritorika. Poetika [Rhetoric. Poetics]. Moscow: Labirint. (In Russian)

Аrutyunova, N. D. (ed) (2007). Logicheskiy analiz yazyka: yazykovyye mekhanizmy komizma [Logical analysis of language: linguistic mechanisms of comism]. Moscow: Indrik. (In Russian)

Attardo, S. (1994). Linguistic Theories of Humour. N. Y.: Mouton de Gruyter. (In English)

Attardo, S. (ed.) (2017). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Humor. New York, NY: Routledge. (In English)

Baranov A. N., Karaulov Yu. N. (1991). Russkaya politicheskaya metafora: Materialy k slovaryu. [Russian political metaphor: Materials for the dictionary]. Moscow. (In Russian)

Bayley, P. (1985). ‘Live oratory in the television age: The language of formal speeches’, in G. Ragazzini, D. R. B. P. Miller (eds.) Campaign language: Language, image, myth in the US. Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria Editrice Bologna, pp. 77–174. (In English)

Benvenist, E. (2002). Obshchaya lingvistika [General linguistics]. Ed. Yu. S. Stepanov; transl. Yu. N. Karaulov. Moscow: Yeditorial URSS. (In Russian)

Bergson, S. (1992). Smekh [Laughter]. Moscow: Art. (In Russian)

Borev, Yu. B. (1970). Komicheskoye i estetika [Humor and aesthetics]. Moscow: Art. (In Russian)

Brzozowska, D. (2011). ‘Humor w tabloidach’. Oblicza Komunikacji 4, pp. 209–216. Retrieved from (In Polish)

Brzozowska, D. (2013). ‛Demotivators as a new type of media texts’. Media Linguistics 2, pp. 124–126. Retrieved May 28, 2019 from (In Polish)

Bulygina, T. V. & Shmelev, A. D. (1990). ‘Anomalii v tekste: problemy interpretatsii, [Anomaly in the text: problems of interpretation]’, in Logical analysis of the language: inconsistency and anomaly of the text. Moscow: Science, pp. 94–106. (In Russian)

Chudinov А. P. (2001). ‘Rossiya v metaforicheskom zerkale: kognitivnoe issledovanie politicheskoj metafory (1991–2000). [Russia in the metaphorical mirror: cognitive study political metaphor (1991–2000)]’. Еkаterinburg. (In Russian)

Demyankov, V. Z. (1983) ‘Ponimaniye kak interpretiruyushchaya deyatelnost [Understanding as an interpreting activity]’, In Linguistics Issues 6. Moscow, pp. 58–67. (In Russian)

Diubua Zh. et al. (1986). Obshchaia ritorika [General rhetoric]. Moscow. (in Russian)

Dmitriyev, A. V. & Sychev, A. B. (2005). Smekh: sotsiofilosofskiy analiz [Laugh: sociophilosophical analysis]. Moscow: Alfa-M. (In Russian)

Dobrosklonskaya, T. G. (2010). Voprosy izucheniya mediatekstov: Opyt issledovaniya sovremennoy angliyskoy mediarechi [Questions of studying media texts: Experience in the study of modern English media speech]. Moscow: KRASAND. (In Russian)

Duskaeva, L. R. (ed.) (2018). Medialingvistika v terminakh i poniatiiakh. Slovar'-spravochnik [Medialinguistics in terms and concepts. A reference's dictionary]. Moscow: Flintа. (In Russian)

Fasmer, M. R. (1964–1973). Etimologicheskiy slovar russkogo yazyka [Etymological dictionary of the Russian language]. Moscow: Progress. (In Russian)

Gegel, G. V. F. (1971). Estetika [Еsthetics], III. Moscow: Science. (In Russian)

Gorkin A.P. (ed.) (2006). Literatura i yazyk [Literature and language]. Modern Illustrated Encyclopedia. Moscow: Rosmen. (In Russian)

Kant, I. (1966). Sochineniya v 6 tomakh. [Works in 6 volumes]. Vol. 5. Moscow. (In Russian)

Khoyzinga, Y. (1992). Homo ludens. V teni zavtrashnego dnya [Homo ludens. In the shadow of tomorrow]. Moscow: Progress. (In Russian)

Kubryakova, Ye. S. (2004) Yazyk i znaniye: Na puti polucheniya znaniy o yazyke: Chasti rechi s kognitivnoy tochki zreniya. Rol yazyka v poznanii mira [Language and knowledge: Towards knowledge of a language: Parts of speech from a cognitive point of view. The role of language in cognition of the world]. Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskoy kultury. (In Russian)

Kubryakova, Ye. S., Demyankov, V. Z. (2007). ‘K probleme mentalnykh reprezentatsiy [About the problem of mental representations]’, in Cognitive Linguistics Issues 4 (013), 8–16. (In Russian)

Lakoff G. & Johnsen M. (2003). Metaphors we live by. London: The university of Chicago press. (In English)

Minsky М. (1974). A Framework for Representing Knowledge. MIT-AI Laboratory Memo 306. (In English)

Paducheva, E. V. (2004). Dinamicheskie modeli v semantike leksiki [Dynamic models in the semantics of vocabulary]. Moscow. (In Russian)

Propp, V. Ya. (2007). Problemy komizma i smekha. Ritualnyy smekh v folklore [The problems of humor and laughter. Ritual laughter in folklore]. Moscow. (In Russian)

Popova T. I. (2018). ‘Aktual’nye napravleniia issledovaniia mediinogo internet-prostranstva [Actual directions of media internet space investigation]’, in Media Linguistics 5 (3), pp. 258–272. (In Russian)

Raskin, V. (1985). Semantic Mechanisms of Humor. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company. (In English)

Sannikov, V. Z. (2002). Russkiy yazyk v zerkale yazykovoy igry [Russian language in the mirror of the verbal play]. Moscow: Languages of Slavic culture. (In Russian)

Serebrennikov, B. A. (ed.) (1988). Rol' chelovecheskogo faktora v yazyke: Yazyk i kartina mira [The role of the human factor in language: Language and the picture of the world]. Moscow: Science. (In Russian)

Spenser, G. (1999). Opyty nauchnyye, politicheskiye i filosofskiye [Scientific, political and philosophical experiences]. Vol. 2. Mn.: Sovremen. Literator. (In Russian)

Stoyanova, Ye. (2013). Metafora skvoz prizmu lingvokulturnoy situatsii [Metaphor through the prism of a linguocultural situation]. Shumen: UPH „Yepiskop Konstantin Preslavski“. (In Russian)

Sychev, A. A. (2003). Priroda smekha ili Filosofiya komicheskogo [The nature of laughter or the philosophy of the humor]. Moscow: PH MGU. (In Russian)

Teliya, V. N. (ed.) (1991). Chelovecheskiy faktor v yazyke. Yazykovyye mekhanizmy ekspressivnosti. [The human factor in language. Linguistic mechanisms of expressivity]. Moscow: Science. (In Russian)

Tsoneva, L. (2017). Imena i lyudi. Klyuchevyye imena v mediadiskurse. [Names and people. Key names in the media discourse]. Veliko-Tyrnovo. (In Russian)

Utrobina, T. G. (1997). ‘Yаzykovyye sredstva reprezentatsii kontseptualnoy kartiny mira (na materiale satiricheskikh rasskazov M. M. Zoshchenko 1920-kh godov) [Language means of representing the conceptual picture of the world (based on the material of satirical stories by M. M. Zoshchenko of the 1920s)]’, in Text: structure and functioning 2. Barnaul, pp. 72–81. (In Russian)

Vasileva, V. V. (2017). ‘Anekdot v professional'nom mediatekste: pereprofilirovanie rechevogo zhanra [Anecdote in professional media text: re-profiling of the speech genre]’, in Media Linguistics 4 (19), pp. 80–89. Retrieved April 12, 2019 from (In Russian)

Veselovskiy, A. N. (1940). ‘Psikhologicheskiy parallelizm i yego formy v otrazhenii poeticheskogo stilya [Psychological parallelism and its forms in the reflection of poetic style]’, in Historical poetics. L., рр. 125–199. (In Russian)

Wittgenstein, L. (1994). Filosofskiye raboty [Philosophical researches]. Part 1. Moscow: Gnozis. (In Russian)

Yermakova, O. P. (1997). ‘Ob ironii i metafore [About irony and metaphor]’, in Word guise. Moscow, рр. 48–57. (In Russian)

Yermakova, O. P. (2017). Ironiya i yeye rol v zhizni yazyka: uchebnoye posobiye [Irony and its role in the life of a language: a textbook]. Moscow: Flinta. (In Russian)

Zemskaya Ye. A. & Kitaygorodskaya M. A. & Rozanova N. N. (1983). ‘Yazykovaya igra [Verbal play]’, in Russian spoken speech. Phonetics. Morphology. Vocabulary. Gesture. Moscow: Science, рр. 172–214. (In Russian)

All authors agree to an Attribution Non-Commercial Non Derivative Creative Commons License on their work.


Download data is not yet available.