What is it about?

Yus is one of the few scholars (although their number is growing) that apply relevance theory to OTHER discourses than spoken, face-to-face communication between Mary and Peter -- the default in classic relevance theory (Sperber and Wilson 1995).

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Why is it important?

I share with Yus the conviction that relevance theory is the most promising model to develop into an inclusive theory of communication. But to make good on this promise, it should be shown to be applicable to a wide range of non-verbal and multimodal discourses. In the book under review Yus shows how relevance theory functions in analysing humour in various media and genres, including advertising, political cartoons, and stand-up comedy.


I consider Yus a fellow-traveller in demonstrating the tremendous power of relevance theory (see eg Forceville 2005, 2020), and applaud his venturing into non-verbal and partly-verbal discourses.

Dr Charles Forceville
Universiteit van Amsterdam

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This page is a summary of: Book review, Journal of Pragmatics, January 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2016.10.002.
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