The Socio-Political Effects on Using Puns in Iraqi Arabic Jokes
Jokes can be effective and can achieve various purposes depending on how they are said or written. It is a fact that jokes refer to statements with humorous effect used as a means of entertainment to make people laugh and feel happy. However, jokes can have other socio-political meanings depending on the expressions found in them. This can be achieved through the employment of expressions denoting pun. Additionally, meanings of pun can be expressed in different ways depending on the socio-cultural characteristics of the community. Therefore, this study aimed at defining the socio-political impact of employing pun expressions in Iraqi jokes based on the socio-cultural specificity of the Iraqi community. To conducted such a study, this required using a qualitative method with a critical analysis. The data of this study were represented by (15) jokes written in Iraqi Arabic dialect (Iraqi colloquial language) and translated into English to be understood by those who do not speak Arabic language. Pun expressions were italicized in both source and target texts to be distinguished from other expressions in the joke. The results of this study revealed the influence of socio-political situations on creating jokes in Iraqi society. Moreover, the most notable type of pun used in Iraqi jokes was homonymous. This is due to that Iraqis intentionally tend to conceal the real intended meaning by using words that have the same spelling and pronunciation but carry different connotations.
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