Computational Humour: Utilizing Cross-Reference Ambiguity for Conversational Jokes

  • Hans Wim Tinholt
  • Anton Nijholt
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4578)


This paper presents a computer implementation that utilizes cross-reference ambiguity in utterances for simple conversational jokes. The approach is based on the SSTH. Using a simple script representation, it is shown that cross-reference ambiguities always satisfy the SSTH requirement for script overlap. To determine whether script opposition is present, we introduce a method that compares the concepts involved based on their semantic properties. When a given cross-reference ambiguity results in script opposition it is possible to generate a punchline based on this ambiguity. As a result of the low performance of the anaphora resolution algorithm and the data sparseness in ConceptNet the application performs moderately, but it does provide future prospects in generating conversational humour.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Wim Tinholt
    • 1
  • Anton Nijholt
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Twente 

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