Analysis of Conversational Maxims Flouted to Achieve Verbal Humour in Churchill Show Stand-up Comedy Performances


Nancy Chepkemoi
Simon Nganga
Mosol Kandagor


Humour plays an important role in everyday human life. It created when language is used in a certain context to achieve humorous effects. There is an increased proliferation of verbal humour in stand-up comedies in Kenya recently. The local television industry has also invested in verbal humour to enhance their viewership. For this reason, Churchill Show, one of the verbal humour comedy events has captivated Kenyans in the last decade. Verbal humour is often created by flouting the Gricean conversational maxims. However, in Kenya, no study has currently examined the conversational maxims flouted by the comedians to create verbal humour in Churchill Show . Therefore, the study investigated conversational maxims flouted in Churchill Show to create verbal humour. The study relied on the Gricean cooperative principle and the principles of Relevance theory to explain the maxims flouted by stand-up comedians. The study adopted a descriptive qualitative research. The primary data of study comprised purposively selected utterances from stand-up comedy performances from 2011 to 2019 in Churchill Show. In collecting the data, the researcher applied attentive observation. Being a qualitative study, data analysis commenced during data collection. Content analyses of spoken words in the TV tape were transcribed. Classification of the data into maxims flouted was first done and discussed. The findings showed that the selected stand-up comedians flouted all the four conversational maxims in their utterances to create humour. As the comedians flout the maxims, they employed strategies such as irony, satire, self-deprecation, stereotypes and hyperbole to enhance their humour creation. The study concluded that the relevance theoretical framework is appropriate in explaining the inferential process that the audience apply in humour interpretation in order to achieve optimal relevance. The study contributes knowledge in pragmatics, especially the Grice conversational maxims and implicatures.




How to Cite
Analysis of Conversational Maxims Flouted to Achieve Verbal Humour in Churchill Show Stand-up Comedy Performances. (2023). Journal of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, 4(1), 7-.

How to Cite

Analysis of Conversational Maxims Flouted to Achieve Verbal Humour in Churchill Show Stand-up Comedy Performances. (2023). Journal of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, 4(1), 7-.


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