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Sighs in everyday and political communication.

The work defines the sigh as a type of breath expressing or communicating specific mental or emotional states.
To investigate the meanings of the sigh, after overviewing preliminary analyses of written and oral corpora, the paper focuses on a peculiar use of it as a “discrediting body comment” often exploited in political debates to imply the opponent’s stupidity or obsessive repetition, by displaying frustration or boredom. In a perception study on some uses of this sigh, participants’ interpretations are not significantly shared, but agreement emerges when considering their perception of sighs in terms of valence and arousal.

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