In this article I tried to interpretate the way in which languages in short narratives of Chosun dynasty exist so that the cultural meaning and function of speaking and listening in narratives could be explored.
In the Japrok(雜錄) of early Chosun dynasty, language game prevailed. In those cases, the referents were not related to the character or experiences of the speakers. Humor arose from the deviation of behaviors of speakers.
As the society became unstable, the deviations of behavior were not permitted. Instead, people enjoyed language deviations. Especially during the war time, people tried to play with the word deviations. In these cases, the words games enabled the people to relax from the anxieties and tensions from social situation. Language games were a kind of cultural actions to recover the vitalities of life.
Sometimes, the referents were related to the character or experiences of the speakers tightly. Some persons were eager to state their thoughts clearly at the risk of losing their own life. In this case talking was not just a game but a manifesto staking their own lives.
Sadaebu, culture accumulated profound introspections on the substances or functions of talking and listening. Especially, In Duggupjeon, Hwansaegyelsong, and Yorowonyawhagi, we can find the concrete results of those introspections. In Duggupjeon, Hwansaegyelsong, we can find the cynical criticisms on the degradations of talking. In Yorowonyawhagi, we can find the process where the prejudices and authoritarian attitude among people were being overcome.
As the languages became related to social contexts closer, the light words were given heavier meanings. The words were understood to include the experiences of the speaker. In Yadam, the heroes talked about their own experience to other people. Here speakers and listeners expressed sympathy with each others. They could share the value, wisdom, stimulus and ethic which were contained in the experience. At last, speakers and listeners could communicate with each other.
In the early Chosun dynasty, the words in narratives functioned as a means of education, information delivery, ethical teaching and trial. By these kinds of talking, Sadaebu could reproduce their own culture and retain established ruling orders. So talking produced moral lessons by transmitting their ideology. In this case, talking meant working. Sadaebu did work by talking.
Sadaebu enjoyed the deviation of talking resulting from unintentional or unintentional experiences of their everyday lives. Those cases were recorded by other Sadaebu, who enjoyed repeating those word games. Serious word games began to emerge. In this case talking for Sadaebu meant playing.
In the late Chosun dynasty, the cynical and critical talking functioned as means to change the established orders and relationships.
The words contains the experiences of speakers and talking about life experiences brought laughter and empathy between classes, groups and individuals. Laughter played a significant role not just as an embellishment of language but in deconstructing authority and liberating people. Above all, the fact that language was able to contain the life experience of the speakers was the most significant development that allowed the real communication and solidarity between classes, groups, and individuals.