The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 4, No 4 (2016)

“Laf wan kill me die” (I almost died laughing): An analysis of Akpos jokes and the readers’ responses

Ibukun Filani


Studies on humour have acknowledged that responses to jokes are important aspects of a joking exchange; however, investigation of joke recipients’ responses has received little attention from humour scholars. Moreover, the linguistic investigations of jokes have been limited to native speakers’ contexts, leaving ESL contexts out. Therefore, this study examines readers’ responses to a genre of jokes in Nigerian online spheres, Akpos jokes, with a view to characterising their forms and functions. Akpos jokes are humorous narratives created around an imaginary character called Akpos. Jokes are randomly collected from a blog and readers’ responses were derived from a Facebook page in which Akpos jokes are published. Using computer paralanguage and language mixing in writing the jokes and the responses, the jokes and the reactions to them mirror the online and the Nigerian ESL contexts in which they are situated. Readers use their responses to indicate affiliation, disaffiliation with the joke, or to introduce something that has nothing to do with the subject of the joke or humour. Readers also use their responses to argue for and/or against the humorousness the jokes.


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