Communication is an interactive and dynamic process. People areconstantly in contact with each other and with themselves. People react to eachother’s speech and actions and to the reaction of others.
J.W.Neuliep (2012)admits, that ‘most people would be miserable if they were not allowed tocommunicate with others’ (Neuliep, J.W., 2012:9).
He adds (2012), that’communication is the vehicle by which people initiate, maintain, and terminatetheir relationships with others’ (ibid).As defined by Berko, Wolvin D. and Wolvin R. (1992),”Human communication is conscious and unconscious, intentional andunintentional process in which feelings and ideas are expressed in verbal andnonverbal messages” (Berko R. B.
, Wolvin A. D., Wolvin D. R., 1992: 5). The process ofcommunication can be accidental, expressive or rhetorical.
It occurs ondifferent levels, including intrapersonal, interpersonal and public. In his work, Neuliep (2012:11) identifieseight dimensions and definitions of communication: Table 1.1 Dimensions of Communication(Neuliep, 2012:11) 1. Process “Communication theory reflects a process point of view .
. . you cannot talk about the beginning or the end of communication.” 2. Dynamic “Communication is a transaction among symbol users in which meanings are dynamic, changing as a function of earlier usages and of changes in perceptions and metaperceptions.
Common to both meanings is the notion that communication is timebound and irreversible.” 3. Interactive-Transactive “Communication occurs when two or more people interact through the exchange of messages.” 4. Symbolic “All the symbols of the mind, together with the means of conveying them through space and preserving them in time.” 5.
Intentional “Communication has its central interest those behavioral situations in which a source transmits a message to a receiver(s) with conscious intent to affect the latter’s behavior.” 6. Contextual “Communication always and inevitably occurs within some context.” 7. Ubiquitous “Communication is the discriminatory response of an organism to a stimulus.” 8. Cultural “Culture us communication .
. . communication is culture.” Therefore, it must be admitted that the communication can be approachedin different ways and for different purposes.In order to analyze writtenjokes, it is fundamental to consider the concepts of written and spokencommunication. Therefore, a comprehensible list on characteristics of spokenand written language by David Crystal should be considered (Table 1.2): Table 1.2 Characteristics of spoken and written language (Crystal, 1995: 291) Time-bound, dynamic, and transient.
The participants of the speech are both present. Space-bound, static, and permanent. The writer and the reader are usually distant. The production and reception of speech usually take place without any time-lag Writing always takes place with time-lag between production and reception, as it is difficult for the writer to predict who will be the recipients of the writing. Repetition, loose constructions, rephrasing, and comment clauses (e.
g. ‘you know, you see, mind you’) can be observed due to spontaneity of speech and its fast pace. Text is carefully organised, and the expression is compact, as writing allows to reread the text. Due to face-to-face interaction, a considerable amount of lexicon is often characteristically vague, as participants use facial expressions and gestures to explain what is meant by their speech; for instance, such deictic expressions as that one, in here, right now are used when referring to a particular situation in a direct way. Due to lack of visual contact among participants, a recipient cannot rely on the context alone to understand the meaning of the writing; therefore, deictic expressions are mostly avoided, as they might be ambiguous. Contracted forms (e.g. isn’t, won’t, can’t), nonsense vocabulary (e.
g. whatchamacallit), and slang can be frequently observed in speech. Multiple instances of subordination and elaborately balanced syntactic patterns are characteristic of writing.
Functions of speech: social or phatic. Can be employed for expressing opinions, attitudes, social relationships, etc. Functions of writing: fact recording and an exchange of ideas and tasks.
One is given opportunity to rethink their utterance during the process of listening to the other person. It is only natural that spoken errors occur; however, due to the characteristics of speech, once errors are uttered they cannot be taken back. Any errors can be eliminated further on without the recipient ever knowing that there was any error in the first place. Interruptions and overlapping are essential parts of speech. If any interruption occurred during the process of writing, in the final product they are hidden. Intonation, loudness, rhythm, tempo, and tones of voice are considered to be unique features of speech. Pages, lines, capitalization, punctuation, and spatial organization are considered to be unique features of writing. The jokes nowadays are a symbiosis of written andspoken languages, as they exist in and share features of both.
For instance,the jokes are often influenced by the abovementioned unique features – punctuations,intonations and rhythms. The dominance of English as alingua franca in business professional and organizational contexts continues tobe in evidence in both (multicultural) European and Asian contexts (Salvi andTanaka, 2011). However, in most of the international companies English languagehas had to adapt to the needs of the majority of the workers. Although theyusually maintain use English as a working language, the changes are usuallybrought in order to adapt the expressive needs of different cultures when usingEnglish language, because of the differences in the cultures. Inorder to analyze the intercultural communication, Bargiela-Chiappini (2004)introduced the Interculturality,which she defines as ‘the process and the condition of cultures-in-contact'(2004: 29). It can be described as ‘contextualized experience within whichprocesses of negotiation and accommodation dialogically realize threeoverlapping interactional dimensions: the social, the linguistic and thecognitive’ (Bargiela-Chiappini F.
, Nickerson C. and Planken B., 2013: 46).A business discourse in thepresent research paper is regarded on a micro level, ‘describing features oflanguage in use in workplace settings, especially fine-grained analysis ofinteraction between two or a small number of people (Holmes and Stubbe, 2003;in Bargiela-Chiappini, 2009: 34).
In regards of the humour usein the intercultural working space, it is fundamental to mention that one ofthe most important aspects of the successful joking is the understanding of theconcept of high-context and low-context cultures (E.T.Hall, 1976):”Ahigh-context communication or message is one in which most of the informationis either in the physical context or internalized in the person, while verylittle is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message. Alow-context communication is just the opposite; i.e., the mass of theinformation is vested in the explicit code.” (E.T.
Hall, 1976:91) However, a speech remains to be the one of the mostinfluential vehicle for a culture spread, the relation between culture andspeech is obvious. Kramsch (1998: 90) points out that: “Culturesthemselves are more or less orate, more or less literate according to the usestheir members make their spoken language in various contexts. Culture putsimprint on the conversational and narrative styles of the members of a socialgroup.
These styles are generally considered to form part of people culturalidentities.” Kramsch (1998: 90) adds that conversational speech isa means of communication where the message delivered to a discourse participantis perceived taking into account the context, situation that in contrast withwriting is basically ‘topic centered’, when no interaction occurs in thewriting between the deliverer and perceiver. Respectively, communicationprocess discloses context reality of each culture. Each party reproduces itsown culture. The most pervasive yet complexdefinition was given by F.E.
Jandt (2004). Jandt claims that the culture refersto the following:1. Acommunity or population sufficiently large enough to be self-sustaining, thatis, large enough to produce new generations of members without relying onoutside people.
2. Thetotality of that group’s thought, experiences, and patterns of behavior and itsconcepts, values, and assumptions about life that guide behavior and how thoseevolve with contact with other cultures. (F.E.Jandt, 2004:7)In addition, he takes the classification of thecultural elements by Hofstede (1994): symbols, rituals, values and heroes.Symbols concern verbal and nonverbal language. Rituals are ‘the sociallyessential collective activities within a culture’ (F.Jandt, 2004:7).
Values arethe feelings and thoughts about what is good or bad, normal or abnormal withinone particular culture, and that are present in the majority of the culturerepresentatives. ‘Heroes are the real or imaginary people who serve as thebehavior models within a culture’ (F.Jandt, 2004:7).DeVito presents a moreelaborate definition for culture: ‘culture consists of the specializedlifestyle of a group of people: their values, beliefs, artifacts, ways ofbehaving, and ways of communicating. Included in a social group’s ‘culture’ iseverything that members of that group have produced and developed – theirlanguage; ways of thinking; art; laws; religion; and communication theories,styles and attitudes’ (DeVito J., 2003:38).
Culture is transmitted from one generation to anotherthrough enculturation, the process by which you learn the culture into whichone is born (one’s native culture).A different process of learning culture isacculturation. In this process, as DeVito states (2003), ‘one learns the rulesand norms of a culture different from one’s native culture’ (DeVito J., 2003:38). In acculturation the native culture is modified through direct contactwith a new and different culture.
Hofstede (1980: 45) defined that there are 4dimensions by which the cultures can be categorized: power of distance,individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity and uncertainty avoidance.· Power distance – is defined as ‘the extent to which the less powerfulmembers of organization and institutions (like the family) accept and expectthat power is distributed unequally’ (ibid.).· Individualism/Collectivism – explores the ‘degree to which people in asociety are integrated into groups’ (ibid.
).· Masculinity/Femininity – ‘a preference in society for achievement,heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success’ (ibid.).
· Uncertainty avoidance – is defined as ‘a society’s tolerance forambiguity’ (ibid.). Thus, thecultures can be divided by these categories into absolutely different groupswith different ways of world perception, attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, onehas to be aware of these categories applied to different cultures beforeengaging the representatives, so that he will be able to recognize the traitsof certain cultures and adapt. Kramsch (1998: 5) adds to this idea: ‘Theexpression of culture corresponds to various forms of socialization andacculturation, as well as etiquette, expression of politeness, social dos and don’tsthat shape people into various cultural groups and categories.
‘ Thus it isadmitted that expression of culture in certain contexts remains the same forone or another country. It means that a person must beaware of the one’s culture firstly, secondly he has to know the characteristicsof this culture, then he is able to decide which strategy to implement in orderto contact another person, which is either to tell an absolutely plain anduncomplicated joke or a more abstract one, that would reflect on the personitself, the setting, the mood and every other aspect that might be influencingthe current state of a person.