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ERIC Number: ED404859
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Feb
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Many Faces of Conversational Laughter.
Stewart, Stuart
Some of the uses of laughter in conversation are examined, specifically as laughter occurs in a second language setting. Although the concepts of humor and laughter are often intertwined, not all laughter is humorous, nor does every humorous event evoke laughter. Furthermore, cross-cultural difference can contribute to misinterpretation of laughter in certain situations. A powerful conversational force, laughter demands recognition by transcending traditional turn-taking boundaries and producing much overlap, while often concluding as a shared achievement between participants. Also considered is the relationship between laughter and the notion of face. The mutual vulnerability of face entices most people to cooperate with each other in interaction. Because there is a tendency to defend one's own face when threatened, it is advantageous to maintain another's face. Because laughter can intensify or diminish the force of a face-threatening action, the dynamics of an interaction must be carefully considered when assessing face. Excerpts from a Dominican Spanish conversation involving several native speakers and a non-native speaker are analyzed and classified using a newly-developed typology. Examples clearly demonstrate that laughter has multiple faces that are subject to interpretation based on context and the relationship between the parties involved. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A