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The Big Bang Theory

This essay discusses the four maxims of Grice’s co-operative principle and how they are broken. In the first section I describe each of the four maxims. By providing dialogues from an American sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’; I explain how each of these maxims are broken in various ways. In the second section, I examine how these methods of breaking maxims can overlap one another. In the final section, I conclude on the role that these maxims play in conversation and how they achieve humorous effects in situational comedies. 1.1 WHAT IS GRICE’S CO-OPERATIVE PRINCIPLE?The English language philosopher Paul Grice proposes that speakers and hearers have a common purpose or at least share a mutually accepted direction in a conversation…