News: There will be a follow-up workshop 2009 in Berlin (at the end of February).
Research investigating the production, acoustics and perception of laughter is very rare. This is striking
because laughter occurs as an everyday and highly communicative phonetic activity in spontaneous
discourse. This workshop aimed to bring researchers together from various disciplines to present their data,
methods, findings, research questions, and ideas on the phonetics of laughter (and smiling). As a satellite
event of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences we think Saarbrücken was the appropriate
place for this workshop.
We were happy that Michael Owren (Georgia State University, Atlanta) agreed to give an invited talk on
Understanding Acoustics and Function in Spontaneous Human Laughter. The planned tutorial plenary
lecture on The Phonetics of Laughter – A Linguistic Approach could unfortunately not presented by Wallace
Chafe (University of California, Santa Barbara) himself but Neal Norrick acted as presenter. All three
keynote speakers deserve our thanks.
We would also like to thank the Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung for their financial support and the publisher
S. Karger for their cooperation. Furthermore we are grateful to the
Institute of Phonetics at Saarland University
for providing the infrastructure and manpower for the workshop.
On this occasion we would like to thank very much all reviewers for their support. Special thanks go to
Wallace Chafe for discussing various important issues during the planning of the workshop.
Jürgen Trouvain and Nick Campbell
Saarbrücken and Kyoto, August 2007
Kai Alter (Newcastle University Medical School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne)