Told by the Newfoundland Chinese: a translation, contextual description and analysis of the jokes collected from two groups in the St. John's Chinese community

Zhu, Nianqiang (1991) Told by the Newfoundland Chinese: a translation, contextual description and analysis of the jokes collected from two groups in the St. John's Chinese community. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis has as its chief aim the presentation of a corpus of jokes or humorous anecdotes collected from a sample of ethnic Chinese living in St. John's, Newfoundland. The corpus can be considered representative of that segment of the general repertoire of jokes, perceived by their narrators as 'Chinese' jokes (as opposed to Canadian or western jokes) circulating in the diverse Chinese milieus of St. John's. The existence of different groups of Chinese in St. John's, as has been established both by library and field research, is presented with reference to the history of the Chinese in North America in general and in Newfoundland in particular. Given the existence of different groups of Chinese in St. John's, we are led to pose the following questions: to what extent, if any, do the joke repertoires of the respective groups differ, and if differences exist, what is the significance of such differences? What are the characteristics of the joke repertoire as a whole which allow it to be distinguished as 'Chinese'? What functions are served by the telling of 'Chinese' jokes by the different groups? The main body of the thesis marshals the evidence, in the form of biographical notes on each informant together with his or her repertoire. The narrative and performance style of each narrator is noted, in the hope that meaningful distinctions may appear. Following this section, the general repertoire is analysed with a view to revealing differences of world view between the chief groups. A concluding section raises questions of continuity or retention and innovation deriving from these foundations, with speculation on the potential utility of such research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12322
Item ID: 12322
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 216-239).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: February 1991
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Chinese wit and humor; Chinese--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's

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