Publication details [#62240]

Petitjean, Cécile and Etienne Morel. 2017. “Hahaha”: Laughter as a resource to manage WhatsApp conversations. Journal of Pragmatics 110 : 1–19.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This inquiry handles the interactional achievement of laughter in WhatsApp conversations. Using 43 WhatsApp conversations collected in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the paper tries to describe how texters mobilize “transcribed” laughter (i.e. hahaha), and to what extent laughter is a resource for managing the interactional contingencies linked to the asynchronous nature of the written conversations in which participants are engaged. Laughter appears a powerful resource in that it permits participants to orient to interactional moments that are very difficult to manage, particularly in asynchronous conversations: message-taking and sequence closing/topic termination. Laughter thus opens a window onto how participants show expertise in the management of WhatsApp conversations. Given the impact that asynchronous exchanges may have in social life, the skill to display an identity of “doing being” an expert of new communication technologies seems a crucial ability that merits further investigation.