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  • 1 Eötvös Loránd University Hungarian and Comparative Folkloristics PhD Program Budapest Hungary
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The article demonstrates that similar actions and lifestyles of two individuals living in two villages of Yakutia (in Northeastern Siberia) evoke different attitudes in their own communities in accordance with the dissimilar social structures and communicative systems of the villages. The article focuses on the different ways the register of humour is activated and on the dissimilar assessments of extraordinary patterns of behaviour resulting in social embarrassment within the two communities. The case studies show that one of the protagonists of the paper, Konoohoi, is referred to as a funny guy about whom funny stories are circulated, whereas Lögöntöi is much more regarded as a strange person by his fellow villagers. The difference between the integrity of the communities (providing evaluative social talks of different characters in the settlements concerned) results in two different ways of dealing with the social embarrassment caused by extraordinary behaviours. In one of the villages the funny but disparaging anecdotes about such behaviour are embedded in the system of kin-group characterisation, whereas in the other one it would be regarded as more offensive (as a personal attack), since in this setting it is generally not allowed to expose shortcomings in public.

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