A Linguistic Analysis of Para-jokes and Meta-jokes in Persian Verbal Humor

Bahareh Masaeli, Mohammad Ali Heidari-Shahreza


The present study explored para-jokes and meta-jokes in Persian verbal humor. They were defined in the context of this research as the second and the third generation of jokes respectively. Such jokes rely on the intertextuality of humor. That is, the perception of humor used in para-jokes and meta-jokes entails a prior recognition of the original jokes based on which such versions are generated. In this study, first, a corpus of Persian online jokes was made. Then, in light of General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH), the corpus was scrutinized to discern the percentage of para- and meta-jokes. The initial analysis revealed that only five and three percent of the corpus were represented by these jokes respectively. In the second phase of the study, 31 Persian speakers were interviewed to examine their recognition and perception of humor in a sample of such jokes. The findings indicated that para-jokes and meta-jokes were successfully recognized and perceived by only 30% and 45% of the interviewees respectively. Drawing upon GTVH, this paper elaborates on the contribution of such jokes in Persian verbal humor. Moreover, limitations of the study and suggestions for further research are briefly addressed.


Para-joke, Meta-joke, Linguistic analysis, Persian humor, Verbal humor, GTVH

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