Russian Jokes About Psychiatrists as a Construction

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Russian Federation, Russia, Moscow
Journal nameRusskaya Rech’
EditionIssue 1

Among Russian jokes (‘anecdotes’) there is a type devoted to psychiatrists and their practice. However, the similarity is not reduced to the characters alone, and can be seen in the structure of the situation itself. There are a) a doctor, b) a patient or a relative of theirs, and c) a problem. A listener supposes that the doctor will address the problem, and the patient will help to solve it, but this relationship turns out to be false. The comic effect — what makes us laugh — is the violated expectation: in the real world, one expects that a patient (or a relative of theirs) is to fulfi ll the role of a mediator, thus enabling a doctor to address the problem, whereas in the reality of the joke the assumed role of a mediator is not fulfi lled in any way. The article reveals that the principal common feature for these short stories is actually the underlying structure that resembles constructions,which are of interest for Construction Grammar.

Keywordsconstructions, Russian jokes, text structure, violated expectation
Publication date19.03.2021
Number of characters24136
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