Holt, Elizabeth (2013) Conversation Analysis and Laughter. In: The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 9781405198431

Social interaction centers on linguistic elements but nonlinguistic aspects are also crucial. One of these is laughter. It might be thought that laughter is not subject to the kinds of patterns that underpin talk; that it is often simply a spontaneous reaction to finding something funny. But research in conversation analysis (CA) has revealed that this is not the case. Laughter is, in fact, highly organized and is the product of the same kind of ordering that provides for all social interaction. Thus, existing research has revealed regularities in its use in terms of where it occurs in turns and within sequences; in the kinds of interactional environments it occupies; and in the tasks it accomplishes. Research on interaction has also thrown light on the relationship between laughter and humor.