Phonological distortion as a humorous strategy in Folarin Falana’s comedy skits


Phonological Distortion
Phonological Processes
Folarin Falana (Falz the Bahd Guy)

How to Cite

Adesoye, R. E. (2018). Phonological distortion as a humorous strategy in Folarin Falana’s comedy skits. The European Journal of Humour Research, 6(4), 60–74.


Various studies exist on the social functions of humour and such studies have been carried out in diverse fields that range from the humanities to the sciences. In linguistics specifically, research shows that humour has been studied from the perspectives of syntax, pragmatics and semantics; moreover, there is a dearth of studies on the creation of humour through phonological processes. Therefore, this study aims to investigate humour and how it is achieved using phonological processes. The study engages mainly qualitative methods of analysis. Five comedy skits were purposively selected from Folarin Falana’s (Falz the Bahd Guy) eleven collections. These were chosen on the basis of their internet popularity among Nigerians; this popularity was determined on the basis of the rates of downloading the skits. McGraw & Warren’s (2010) Benign Violation Theory was used to account for the phonological violations in the comedies. The various phonological processes that were violated include liaison, deletion, insertion, monophthongisation, coalescence and vowel strengthening. It is argued that the phonological distortions are deliberately made to achieve humour in these Nigerian comedies, especially when the high educational level of the artist is considered. Also, there anti-Anglicism and pro-Nigerianism in the data as the artist identifies himself with Nigeria(ns) and creates a niche for himself in the entertainment industry using the phonological peculiarities among Nigerians’ language use, especially the Yoruba tribe. He also creates different personalities to project different messages which are not only peculiar to Nigeria but to the world, using these personalities to portray people’s feelings and views of the world and how these influence their attitudes.


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