Play chronotopes: Laughter-talk in peer group conversation

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4 Scopus citations


Although research has investigated laughter in professional communication settings, fewer studies have explored laughter-talk in second language (L2) classrooms. This study examines L2 university students’ use of laughter-talk in peer group conversation to understand the linguistics of affect and its interactional effects. The author draws upon interactional perspectives on language play and laughter to analyse classroom conversation from four peer groups in three tasks. The author has worked within Partington’s (2006) framework of laughter-talk to bridge the gap between professional communication and classroom discourse. Through specific examples of language-related and general laughter excerpts, this study shows that the L2 students could use different functions of laughter in multilingual and multicultural conversation for managing insufficient linguistic knowledge and displaying participant alignment and affiliation. This study has suggested that L2 university students’ emerging processes of laughter-talk may lead to their playful acquisition of specific interactional features necessary for professional communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalClassroom Discourse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Language play
  • Laughter
  • Peer discourse


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