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Agis, Derya. May 7 – 8, 2008.  “Sephardic Djoha Anecdotes Where Food Names Are Used As Metaphors within the Framework of the Linguistic Humor Theory.”  An International Symposium: Cognitive Approaches to the Concept of Food in the Mediterranean Cult
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Agis, Derya. May 7 – 8, 2008. “Sephardic Djoha Anecdotes Where Food Names Are Used As Metaphors within the Framework of the Linguistic Humor Theory.” An International Symposium: Cognitive Approaches to the Concept of Food in the Mediterranean Cult

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Agis, Derya. May 7 – 8, 2008. “Sephardic Djoha Anecdotes Where Food Names Are Used As Metaphors within the Framework of the Linguistic Humor Theory.” An International Symposium: Cognitive Approaches …

Agis, Derya. May 7 – 8, 2008. “Sephardic Djoha Anecdotes Where Food Names Are Used As Metaphors within the Framework of the Linguistic Humor Theory.” An International Symposium: Cognitive Approaches to the Concept of Food in the Mediterranean Cultures, Kyrenia, Girne American University, Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. (head of the organizing committee)


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  • 1. 9/16/2013 1Derya Agis
  • 2.  This study investigates the metaphorical uses of food names cited in Judeo-Spanish Sephardic Nasrettin Hodja or Djoha anecdotes within the framework of the Linguistic Humor Theory developed by Raskin and Attardo (1991).  Also, we apply Bucaria’s (2004) proposal on linguistic ambiguities to our analyses. We observe the linguistic ambiguities used by Djoha, dividing them into three groups as lexical, syntactic, and phonological. At the end of the study, we found that Djoha uses more lexical and syntactic ambiguities than phonological ambiguities. 9/16/2013 2Derya Agis
  • 3.  We aim at what types of linguistic ambiguities regarding food names Hodja, or Djoha uses in accordance with the Linguistic Humor Theory. 9/16/2013 3Derya Agis
  • 4.  Djoha uses more lexical and syntactic ambiguities than phonological ambiguities. 9/16/2013 4Derya Agis
  • 5.  Fourteen anecdotes from Matilda Koen- Sarano’s Djoha Ke Dize? Kuentos Populares Djudeo-Espanyoles published in 1991 by Kana in Jerusalem. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 5
  • 6.  Bardavid (1997) compares Hodja Hasreddin tales, belonging to Turkish and Sephardic cultures. She argues that Sephardim called intelligent and funny children Djoha, who is represented sometimes as a young, and sometimes as an old person in the Sephardic anecdotes; however, this character is always old in the Turkish anecdotes. Moreover, Bardavid (1997) mentions also that the Turkish Hoca speaks Turkish, whereas the Jewish Djoha speaks Judeo-Spanish. HODJA NASRETTIN  Nasreddin Hoca was born in 1208 in the village of Hortu of Sivrihisar, near the city of Afyonkarahisar; he had lived in Aksehir since 1237 for studying (Sansal, 2005, para. 1). Turkish speakers call him Hodja Nasrettin and the Sephardim “Djoha.” 9/16/2013 6Derya Agis
  • 7.  Attardo and Raskin (1991) propose a theory of verbal and linguistic humor on verbal jokes as its most representative subset. This theory is an extension and revision of Raskin's script-based semantic theory of humor (1985) and of Attardo's (1989) five-level joke representation model. In this paper, a hierarchical organization for six knowledge resources (KRs) is explained. The consequential general theory of verbal humor is discussed within the framework of the script-based semantic theory of humor.  Attardo and Raskin’s (1991) six knowledge resources (KRs), thus, parameters of joke difference are these:  1) Language,  2) Narrative strategies,  3) Target,  4) Situation,  5) Logical mechanism, and  6) Script opposition 9/16/2013 7Derya Agis
  • 8. Figure 1. Knowledge resources (KRs) informing a joke (Attardo & Raskin, 1991: 75) 9/16/2013Derya Agis 8
  • 9. Figure 2. The five knowledge resources determined by language (Attardo & Raskin 1991: 78) 9/16/2013Derya Agis 9
  • 10.  Attardo (1994) suggests that linguistic humor is caused by deviation from proper languages, as in “*(1) “occurr”, etc. But later Attardo, Attardo, Baltes & Petray (2004) define several strategies used to create ambiguity-based humor in their study of a corpus of two thousand jokes. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 10
  • 11.  Successively, Bucaria (2004) divides (this division is customary in linguistic literature) semantic ambiguity into three main categories of ambiguity, which are indicated below:  1) Lexical,  2) Syntactic, and  3) Phonological  The first category involves noun and verb ambiguity, and syntactic ambiguity contains not only class ambiguity, but also other types of ambiguity, as it regards the semantic shifts created by confusion between grammatical categories, and phrasal attachment and ellipsis (Bucaria, 2004: 281). Phonological ambuiguity involves meaning confusion, caused by sound resemblances. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 11
  • 12.  One day Djoha saw that the neighbor had cooked baklavas. He said, “I have to taste these baklavas. I am going to taste them” BAKLAVA IS USED IN ITS SINGULAR FORM IN THE TEXT: LEXICAL AMBIGUITY  ….’YO LA V’A GUSTAR’ – PHONOLOGICAL AMBUIGUITY  In the night when he saw that they were putting baklavas on the table, he knocked at the door.  “Who is it?” “Who is it?”  “Djoha!” – syntactic ambiguity  “Oh, come in! Come in! Enter!,” they said - Syntactic ambiguity  He entered, he sat on the table, they put the tray in the middle. It was the big tray. … so… and he was eating, and eating.  He became embarrassed, and said, “I, when my wife makes me some damage, and makes me something that I do not want, I caught her, and sent her away.” then he took the tray, and began to eat. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 12
  • 13. Un dia Djoha vido ke la vizina izo baklava? “Esta baklavsa” disho, “yo devo de gustarla!” Lo ke kere ke sea yo la v’a gustar!” A la noche, kuando vido ke ya la metieron la baklava en la meza, batio a la puerta. “Ken es? Ken es?” “Djoha!” “O, buyrun, buyrun! Entra!” le disheron. Entro’, s’asento’ a a meza, metieron el tifsin en medio…era un tifsin grande… ansina… I el sta komiendo…sta komiendo…Ya skapo’ el un kuarto delantre de el, agora kere tomar de la parte d’enfrente, ma se sta averguensado. Kualo ke aga? Disho: “Yo” disho, kuando mi mujer me aze algun danyo i no me aze lo ke kero yo, yo l’aferrro’ an eya ansina, i l’abolto, la echo afuera!!”, i l’abolto’ , la echo afuera!!” , i abolto’ el tifsin delantre de el i empeso’ a komer i de el i empeso’ a komer i de la otra vanda! 9/16/2013Derya Agis 13
  • 14.  Djoha was in a castle with a friend. He passed by with a tray of baklavas and the friend told him: “Look, Djoha, look at the tray of baklava!”  “Ah!,” said Djoha. “KE M’EMPORTA?!”  “Does it interest me?!” “But he entered your house!,” said the friend.  “Eh, does it interest you?!,” asked Djoha. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 14
  • 15.  La Baklava de Djoha Djoha estava en la kaleja kon un amigo. Paso’ uno kon un tifsin de baklava i el amigo le disho: “Mira, Djoha, mira ke tifsin de baklava!” “A!” disho Djoha, “Ke m’emporta?!” “Ama entro’ a la kaza tuya!” le disho el amigo. “E! Ke te emporta?” le disho Djoha. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 15
  • 16.  One day Djoha went out and he was eating toasted wheat. There was air (aviya ayre=lexical ambiguity), and the air was drifting the wheat. Somebody was passing, and asked: “Tell me, Djoha, which one are you eating?” Djoha said, “If the air lets me free, I am going to eat toasted wheat. If not, it is the air that I am going to eat.” Air and wheat = lexical ambiguities OTHER ANECDOTES Key soup, Djoha and the little fish, What a fantasy!, etc. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 16
  • 17.  Komer i no komer Un dia Djoha salio’ afuera i stava komiendo dari tostado. Avia ayre, i el ayre se stava yevando el dari. Paso’ uno le demando’: “Dime, Djoha, kualo stas komiendo?” “Si el ayre me desho’,” le disho Djoha, “v’a komer dari tostado. Si me desho’, es ayre ke sto komiendo!” disho. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 17
  • 18.  Once upon a time one took an egg and some wine from his hand and said this to Djoha, “Which one has a white exterior part, and whose inner part is red?”  “A radish that they took and put a carrot inside,” said Djoha. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 18
  • 19.  Ke fantasia Una vez un tomo’ un guevo en la mano i vino, le disho a Djoha; “Kualo es blanko d’afuera i korelado por arientro?” “Un ravano, ke lo kavakaron i le metieron una safanoria arientro!” le disho Djoha. 9/16/2013Derya Agis 19
  • 20. Lexical Ambiguities Phonological Ambiguities Difference 95% CI Chi-square DF P-value 61% n=34 21% n=12 40% 11.7 to 68.3 4.190 1 P = 0.0407 Lexical Ambiguities Syntactic Ambiguities 61% n=34 18% n= 10 43.0% 14.1 to 71.9 4.127 1 P = 0.0422 9/16/2013 20Derya Agis
  • 21. Attardo & Raskin, V. (1991). Script Theory Revis(it)ed: Joke Similarity and Joke Representation Model. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 4 (3- 4), pp. 293 - 347. Bardavid, B. (1997). Bizim Hoca - Nasreddin Hoca. Toplumbilim (6), 87 - 96. Bucaria, C. (2004). Lexical and syntactic ambiguity as a source of humor: The case of newspaper headlines. Humor 17 – 3, pp. 279 – 309. Sansal, B. (2005). About Turkey. Retrieved October 06, 2006, from: http://www.allaboutturkey.com/nasreddin.htm. 9/16/2013 21Derya Agis
  • 22. deryaagis@gmail.com 9/16/2013Derya Agis 22

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