Chapter 2. Fun in the German parliament?

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Based on a large digital corpus of political speeches from the parliamentary proceedings of the German Bundestag (German House of Representatives), this study provides an overview of situations in which amusement and laughing have been recorded. After explaining the differentiation between Heiterkeit “amusement” and Lachen “laughing”, this study provides a typology of situations that trigger such responses. An analysis of corpus concordances shows that the category Lachen mostly indicates instances of scornful laughter, whereas amusement is generally less hostile. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates that most instances that provoked laughing do not display intentional humorous incongruity. Amusement, on the other hand, is typically motivated by some kind of intended humorous incongruity.


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