POLITICAL HUMOUR IN ONLINE COVID-19 CARTOONS

Published: September, 2020

Author(s):

Muhammad Salisu Raj &  Terver Lorde Ahembe

About Author(s):

Department of English. Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

Department of Languages and Communication, The Federal Polytechnic, Mubi

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Abstract

This study set out to investigate the deployment of humour and multimodal resources as strategies for political communication. To achieve this, 5 online cartoons on COVID-19 from Daily Trust were purposively surfed and subjected to qualitative analysis anchoring on theoretical affordances of Schopenhauer’s Incongruity Theory of Humour as well as Kress & van Leeuwen’s Visual Social Semiotics Theory of Multimodal Discourse Analysis. The study agrees with extant literature that semantic negotiation is a discourse activity that is not restricted to the engagement of text among social actors alone; it can also occur in political humour leveraging on multimodal resources. Consequently, it is hoped that cartoonists, and indeed other language users engaged in text creation, will maximise the opportunities availed by multimodal resources and the malleable nature of language for their various communicative activities.