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A lexical approach to laughter classification: Natural language distinguishes six (classes of) formal characteristics


Ruch, Willibald; Wagner, Lisa; Hofmann, Jennifer (2019). A lexical approach to laughter classification: Natural language distinguishes six (classes of) formal characteristics. Current Psychology:ePub ahead of print.

Abstract

Although research on laughter is becoming increasingly common, there is no consensus on the description of its variations. Investigating all verbal attributes that relate to the term laughter may lead to a broad set of descriptors deemed important by the speakers of a language. Through a linguistic corpus analysis using the German language, formal attributes of laughter were identified (original pool: 1148 single-word descriptors and 172 multi-word descriptors). A category system was derived in an iterative process, leading to six higher order classes describing formal characteristics of laughter: Basic parameters, intensity, visible aspects, sound, uniqueness, and regulation. Furthermore, 15 raters judged the words for several criteria (appropriateness, positive and negative valence, active and passive use). From these ratings and the prior assignment, a list of attributes suitable for the characterization of laughter in its formal characteristics was derived. By comparing the proposed classification of formal characteristics of laughter with the scientific literature, potential gaps in the current research agenda are pointed out in the final section.

Abstract

Although research on laughter is becoming increasingly common, there is no consensus on the description of its variations. Investigating all verbal attributes that relate to the term laughter may lead to a broad set of descriptors deemed important by the speakers of a language. Through a linguistic corpus analysis using the German language, formal attributes of laughter were identified (original pool: 1148 single-word descriptors and 172 multi-word descriptors). A category system was derived in an iterative process, leading to six higher order classes describing formal characteristics of laughter: Basic parameters, intensity, visible aspects, sound, uniqueness, and regulation. Furthermore, 15 raters judged the words for several criteria (appropriateness, positive and negative valence, active and passive use). From these ratings and the prior assignment, a list of attributes suitable for the characterization of laughter in its formal characteristics was derived. By comparing the proposed classification of formal characteristics of laughter with the scientific literature, potential gaps in the current research agenda are pointed out in the final section.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:19 Sep 2019 13:01
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:21
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1046-1310
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00369-9
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID270780
  • : Project TitleIncorporating Laughter into Human-Avatar Interactions: Research and Evaluation

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