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Acoustic profiles of distinct emotional expressions in laughter

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kai Alter



Although listeners are able to decode the underlying emotions embedded in acoustical laughter sounds, little is known about the acoustical cues that differentiate between the emotions. This study investigated the acoustical correlates of laughter expressing four different emotions: joy, tickling, taunting, and schadenfreude. Analysis of 43 acoustic parameters showed that the four emotions could be accurately discriminated on the basis of a small parameter set. Vowel quality contributed only minimally to emotional differentiation whereas prosodic parameters were more effective. Emotions are expressed by similar prosodic parameters in both laughter and speech.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Szameitat DP, Alter K, Szameitat AJ, Wildgruber D, Sterr A, Darwin CJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Year: 2009

Volume: 126

Issue: 1

Pages: 354-366

Date deposited: 07/05/2010

ISSN (print):

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Acoustical Society of America


DOI: 10.1121/1.3139899


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Funder referenceFunder name
Lena Teague Bequest
Marie Curie Foundation
DFG AL357/1German Research Foundation
WI2101/2German Research Foundation