Kanda informally publishes his Yuri on Ice-based capstone paper

In an off-hand moment quote retweeting a clip of Yuri on Ice in response to the current trend “how do you serve **** in a… way,” it seems I found new interest in a paper I wrote for my MA in Japanese Linguistics.

The paper, titled ” Maxims, scripted media, and humor construction: A brief analysis of the Japanese anime Yuri on Ice!!!,” was done in partial requirement of my MA at UH Mānoa in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. There’s also a slide deck, but I think I revised the paper enough for (relatively fun) consumption, and I’d rather not deal with copyright issues.

The skeleton of the paper was developed after I took a course on discourse analysis, and in a panicked rush I chose to do some sort of humor analysis on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock (specifically the Liz Lemon apartment story line in the episode “Sun Tea”).

The decision, although panicked, also helped me realize scripted media is often ignored in linguistic studies despite its abundance in almost every culture, whether it be television, film, theatre, etc.. My main aim for this paper was to show that given the right frameworks scripted media can be used in linguistic studies, bypassing the usual preference for “naturalistic data” (often spontaneous speech).

Looking back at the results of both my “pilot” and this capstone, one big difference between both programs is the maxims they flout the most: 30 Rock flouted the quantity maxim the most, while Yuri on Ice flouted the truth maxim the most overall (with manner the most within the television world). While I haven’t taken this project much further after I graduated in 2017, this could set up an interesting comparative study between how cultures create scripted humor.

The paper itself has been cleaned up over the past couple of days (I could tell I was rushing and just trying to get this done!), and I hope would be comprehensible by those who haven’t studied linguistics. I’ve left the commenting function on for anyone who has questions, or you could reach out to me directly on social.

Happy reading!

Maxims, scripted media, and humor construction: A brief analysis of the Japanese anime Yuri on Ice!!!

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