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Laughter

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
  • Sabine Kowal
Chapter
Part of the Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics book series (CALS)

Chapter Prospectus

Chapter 17, Laughter, pinpoints yet another phenomenon characteristic of spontaneous spoken discourse. In writing, the simulation of laughter is stereotyped as HA-HA, whereas the phonetics of actual laughter covers quite a range of sound (e.g., he, ha, hm, ho, or the simple, unvoiced expiration h). There has been historically a confusion of the concept because of the identification of humor and comedy with laughter, mostly on the part of philosophers and litterateurs. The empirical investigation of laughter itself – as a behavior – has languished, as has even more so the empirical investigation of its opposite, weeping. Linguistics has categorized laughter as a nonverbal phenomenon and therefore peripheral to its interests; similarly, mainstream psycholinguistics has found little interest in laughter. But much laughter is overlaid on speech itself and therefore carries a specific semantic message along with it. By way of contrast, the conversation-analytic...

Keywords

Rhetorical Device True Feeling Science Time Radio Interview Nonverbal Vocalization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
    • 1
  • Sabine Kowal
    • 2
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Technische Universität Institut für Sprache und KommunikationGermany

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