AWEJ Volume.5 Number.3, 2014                                                                   Pp.304-318

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Linguistic Analysis of Humor in Jordanian Arabic among Young Jordanians Facebookers

 

Ala’Eddin Abdullah Ahmed Banikalef
School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SOLLS)
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 

Marlyna Maros
School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SOLLS)
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia 

Ashinida Aladdin
School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SOLLS)
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

 

 

Abstract
This study presents preliminary analysis from a sociopragmatic perspective of the speech act of humor in Jordanian Arabic as used by Jordanian Facebookers. The data of the current study was collected from Facebook status updates. A total of 1535 status updates were collated and classified according to their communicative functions. Of this number, 210 humorous messages matched Nastri et al.’s (2006) description of humor and were analyzed to determine the pragmatic functions utilized in writing a humorous status update on Facebook in Arabic. The findings indicate that generally the Jordanians tend to be more serious and less humorous. In terms of gender differences, the findings reveal that female participants were less humorous than their male counterparts. These findings suggest that certain aspects of humor are more culture-bound, as in masculine societies such as Jordan, women are perceived to be subordinate to men. Within these societies, men are supposed to be talkers, whereas women are expected to be listeners. The findings also highlight that the function of humor is governed by three pragmatic functions, namely, love, life and work. It was also found that female participants were more interested in posting hilarious romantic anecdotes, whereas male users were more concerned with discussing humorous daily life activities.
Keywords: Arabs, Facebook status updates, Jordanians are very serious, online humor, online speech acts,  

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Ala’eddin Banikalef is currently a PhD candidate in linguistics at the National University of
Malaysia. His interests center on the Philosophy of Language and Philosophy of Mind. His
current research interests include digital communications revolution, speech acts and their role in
communication, and the influence of Social Networking Sites on language attitudes and
sociolinguistic behavior.