Psycholinguistic and Cultural Implications of German Stimulus Words Humor and Lachen in Association Test
Keywords:word association test, German language, Lachen, Humor, culture of popular laughter, semantic gestalt, psycholinguistics
The article is focused on the psycholinguistic and cultural study of individual associative responses to German stimulus words 'Humor' and 'Lachen'. The goal is to determine individual cognitive activity features in the target 'culture of popular laughter' (Bakhtin, 1965). The research involved a free word association test aimed to examine the German learners' perception of the stimulus words. Sixty undergraduate students aged 20-22 of the educational programme "Language and Literature (German). Translation" at Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Ukraine, participated in the word association test. Quantitative analysis of response words, typical and individual responses allowed building semantic gestalt and productive semantic zones that represent the linguistic culture identification features. Nouns, adjectives, and verbs represented productive associations. The analysis of associative fields allowed modelling the interaction of psycholinguistic and lingo-cultural factors for the emergence of responses to the stimulus words 'Lachen' and 'Humor'. The obtained response words determined communicative, pragmatic, and cognitive productive profiles. Nuclear zones in each associative field tended towards a unified expression of positive emotions. Respondents produced a wide range of semantic potential of stimulus words and frequency of reverse reactions. The expressive spectrum of productivity of individual associations by the respondents is interpretive and results from their cognition of the culture of popular laughter.
Attardo, S. (2003). Introduction: the pragmatics of humor. Journal of Pragmatics, 35(9), 1287–1294. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00178-9
Bakhtin, M. Rabelais and his World. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Cann, A., Matson, C. (2014). Sense of humor and social desirability: Understanding how humor styles are perceived. Personality and Individual Differences, 66, 176–180. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1016/j.paid.2014.03.029
Charaudeau, P. (2006). Des catégories pour l’humour? Questions de Communication, 10, 19–41. http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/questionsdecommunication.7688
Edgar, A., & Sedgwick, P., (eds). (2007). Cultural Theory: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge.
Garnham, A. (1985). Psycholinguistics: Central Topics. London & New York: Methuen.
Ginzburg, J., & Mazzocconi, C. & Tian, Y. (2020). Laughter as language. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 5(1), 104. 1–51. https://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.1152
Goroshko, Ye. (2001). Integrativnaja model' svobodnogo associativnogo eksperimenta [An Integrative Model of Free Association Test]. Kharkiv: RA – Karavella.
Hui, L. (2011). An Investigation into the L2 Mental Lexicon of Chinese English Learners by Means of Word Association. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 34(1). https://doi.org/10.1515/cjal.2011.005
Lopez, B. G., Vaid, J. (2017) Psycholinguistic approaches to humor. In S. Attardo (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Humor (pp. 267–281). New York: Routledge
McGraw, P., C. Warren (2014). ‘Benign Violation Theory’. In Attardo, S. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. (pp. 75–77). Los Angeles; London; New Delhi: Sage.
Namei, S. (2004). Bilingual lexical development: A Persian-Swedish word association study. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14(3), 363–388. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1473-4192.2004.00070.x
O'Donnel-Trujillo, N., Adams K. (1983). Heheh in Conversation: Some Coordinating Accomplishments of Laughter. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 47(2), 175–191. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570318309374114
Piemonte, N. M. (2015). ‘Last laughs: Gallows humor and medical education’. Journal of Medical Humanities,36(4), 375–390. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-015-9338-4
Podilchak, W. (1992). Fun, funny, fun-of humor and laughter. Humor, 5, 375–396. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1515/humr.1922.214.171.1245
Riesch, H. (2015). Why did the proton cross the road? Humour and science communication. Public Understanding of Science, 24 (7), 768–775. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662514546299
Savage, B. M., Lujan H. L., Thipparthi R. R. & DiCarlo, S. E. (2017). Humor, laughter, learning, and health! A brief review. Advances in Physiology Education, 41(3), 341–347. https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00030.2017.
Séguin, M. (2015). Exploration of the relationship between word-association and learners’ lexical development with a focus on American L1 and Croatian L2 speakers. Explorations in English Language and Linguistics, 3(2), 80–101. https://doi.org/10.1515/exell-2017-0003
Shono, Y., Ames, S., Stacy, A. (2016). Evaluation of internal validity using modern test theory: Application to word association. Psychological Assessment, 28(2), 194–204. https://doi.org/10.1037/pas0000175
Stillings, N. A., Chase, Chr. H., Weisler, S. E., Feinstein, M. H., Garfield, J . L., Rissland, E. L., & Weisler, S. W. (1995). Cognitive Science: An Introduction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Takovski, A. (2021) Lubricating culture awareness and critical thinking through humour. The European Journal of Humour Research 9 (4), 1–19. http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2021.9.4
Terekhova, D. (2014). Analiz assotsiatyvnykh poliv sliv-stymuliv МИР / МИР / МІР u skhidnoslovyanskikh movakh [The analysis of associative fields of stimulus words МИР / МИР / МІР (PEACE) in East-Slavonic languages]. East European Journal of Psycholinguistics, 1(1), 194–201. Retrieved from https://eejpl.vnu.edu.ua/index.php/eejpl/article/view/228
Duden, Deutsches Universal Wörterbuch A–Z. (1989). 2., völlig neu bearb. u. erw. Mannheim: Aufl. Bibliographisches Institut & F. A. Brockhaus AG.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.