A Linguistic Analysis of Persian Online Jokes in Light of General Theory of Verbal Humor

Bahareh Masaeli, Mohammad Ali Heidari-Shahreza


The present study sought to investigate Persian verbal humor in light of General Theory of Verbal Humor. To this aim, initially a corpus of Persian online jokes was built. The jokes were, then, analyzed based on the theory's six knowledge resources (KRs): (a) script opposition, (b) logical mechanism, (c) situation, (d) target, (e) narrative strategy, and (f) language. Through an in-depth analysis, 'normal/abnormal' and 'possible/impossible' were determined as two major types of script opposition in the corpus. 'Faulty reasoning', 'exaggeration' and 'false analogy' were also among the most common logical strategies to create humor in Persian jokes. Likewise, 'pun' and 'allusion' in language KR and 'dialogue' and 'descriptive monologue' in narrative strategy KR were mostly employed to convey humor. As for the target of Persian online jokes, no overarching theme was detected. These findings are discussed and major theoretical and practical implications are addressed in this study.


Persian humor, Verbal humor, Online jokes, GTVH, Linguistic analysis

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