Multimodal Code-pairing and Switching of Visual-verbal Texts in Selected Nigerian Stand-up Comedy Performances

  • Mufutau Temitayo Lamidi University of Ibadan
Keywords: Nigerian stand-up comedy, code-pairing, visual-verbal texts, paralinguistic features, multimodality


This study examines multimodal pairing and switching of codes as features of visualverbal texts and how they are used as strategies for evoking humour in Nigerian standup comedy performances, an area that has not attracted much scholarly attention. Data were obtained through purposive random sampling and analysed through content analysis. Six DVDs (Vols. 3, 7, 8 & 28 of Nite of a Thousand Laughs; Vols. 27 & 28 of AY LIVE Happiness Edition) and 6 video clips (downloaded from the Internet) all totalling 8 hours and 20 minutes of play were selected for the study. Incongruity, Layered Meaning and Visual Semiotics serve as theoretical framework. The study identifies different multimodal strategies such as code-pairing and integration in different forms of oral codes, gestures, costume, and symbols; intertextuality; incongruous translations/ deliberate misinterpretations; and mimicry, quotes and paralanguage used to elicit laughter. It suggests that these features are also useful in other speech-making events, and concludes that the integration of codes and modes of communication serves as an effective strategy in evoking humour and laughter in stand-up comedy

Author Biography

Mufutau Temitayo Lamidi, University of Ibadan
Professor, Department of English

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2458-746X
print ISSN: 0855-1502