Wei D. Duffy, Woody de Falle, and Wahid Yeddf Aae
Linguistic context in name funniness is a complex, multifaceted and still unresolved issue within Funny Name Theory (e.g. Bauble & Doodle 2003, Dingleberry et al. 2006, Crinkles 2009). Some
It is beyond the scope of the present study to resolve these intractable issues, if indeed they can be resolved at all.
Our aim is rather to clarify certain linguistic and cross-cultural factors of name funniness using a rigorous experimental model and unbiased sampling.
We chose narrow range name selection (e.g. Hubba & Hubba 2001) over broad spectrum sampling (Woolf & Whissel 2012) to control for chance linguistic recognition that could compromise results in amulti-lingual name pool. We concluded that results would be most informative if names were drawn from personages well known within their national or regional milieu but completely unfamiliar to English speaking responders, who would rate name humorousness on a seven point Likert scale.
Our sampling pool was drawn from well known personages from the South Asian film industry, sometimes loosely termed “Bollywood.” To further narrow the sampling focus and reduce statistical anomalies induced by name-to-gender match-up inferences, we limited sampling to female names, for entirely objective and purely statistical reasons. Sequential displays (representative images are shown here) were composed following the minimalist procedure of A.M. Burr’s (2014) Winter Olympian Gallery, that is, with almost no supporting text.
We emphasize again that display samples were determined following a completely unbiased selection protocol consistent with our experimental model, and not preferentially influenced in any way by physical attributes of those within the sample cluster . . .
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