What’s In A Grunt — Or A Sigh, Or A Sob? Depends On Where You Hear It


And I’m Robert Siegel. Hear a laugh, you know someone’s happy. Hear a sob, you know someone is sad. Or are they? It’s been thought that no matter where you live in the world, people express emotions using the same repertoire of sounds. But NPR’s social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantam, reports on new research on how emotions are expressed and understood around the globe.

For a long time, scientists have assumed there is a universal grammar when it comes to emotional sound. Languages differ, cultures differ, but emotional sounds carry the same meaning everywhere you go. There’s good evidence for this theory. Studies have shown that if you ask people to say whether this sound comes from a person who’s happy or sad…

Read the whole story: NPR

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