When Worlds and Scripts Collide
The notion of a frame, script or situation occupies a central position in contemporary theories and computational models of humour. Specifically, humour is hypothesized to arise at the overlapping boundaries of two scripts or frames that antagonistically compete to mentally organize the same situation. At the point of divergence, the cognitive agent finds that the chosen script or frame no longer offers an adequate explanation of the situation, and so must switch between scripts, or shift between frames, to achieve an understanding of why the situation has evolved the way it has. However, even banal situations are often complex enough to require the interaction of multiple scripts, yet most situations are not occasions of humour, so the humorous jolt that one gets from a sudden change of perspective must be the exception rather the norm in the script-based comprehension of a situation. Rather than attempt to model the humorously exceptional cases directly, as though they represented the totality of script-based understanding, we consider here the problem of modeling the blending of scripts more generally, to understand how and why one script can give way to another in the course of story comprehension and generation. With a computational framework in place, we can begin to explore the fundamental differences between, on the one hand, script blends that are relatively seamless, and on the other, those that create sufficient friction to be viewed as humorous. We conduct our exploration in the context of a metaphor-generating Twitterbot, @MetaphorMagnet, that is now being turned into a spinner of mini-narratives.
KeywordsScripts Blends Twitter Twitterbot Metaphor Change Narrative
This research was supported by the EC project WHIM: The What-If Machine (http://www.whim-project.eu/). The experiments briefly previewed here are currently being conducted in collaboration with another WHIM researcher, Alessandro Valitutti.
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