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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.24 No.2 pp.49-77

Laughter in Contexts of Interactional Troubles in Writing Tutoring Sessions

Kim Seung-eun
Yonsei University


In Conversation Analysis (CA), laughter, which is treated as a systematically produced activity, has been investigated in connection with troubles. This paper examines initiating laughter in three writing tutoring sessions at a university writing center in Korea, deploying the method of CA. Laughter can be used in two ways in the dataset. Firstly, tutors can use laughter to mitigate their negative assessment about the studentʹs essay. Along with delays and mitigating expressions, laughter infiltrated in the assessment can mitigate the dispreferred nature of the negative assessment. Secondly, both tutors and students can display their talk or action as inappropriate through laughter. The tutor uses laughter when producing talk that can be treated problematic or accountable. The students join in the tutorʹs laughter, and this shared laughter mitigates the problematic nature of the tutorʹs talk. Students may similarly use laughter to display their awareness of the inappropriate nature of their talk or conduct, when responding to the tutorʹs questions. The analysis suggests that laughter can be associated with interactional troubles. The conclusion will include comparisons with other institutional contexts.





  1. Journal Abbreviation : j. Korea Saf. Manag. Sci.
    Frequency : Published three times annually in April, August and December, including an international issue
    Doi Prefix : 10.14353/sjk.
    Year of Launching : 2013
    Publisher :
    The Sociolinguistic Society of Korea
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