Given an atmosphere of sympathy, the intonation could freely undergo deployment and differentiation within the major tonality. But if there were no such firmly dependable “choral support,” the intonation would have gone in a different direction and taken on different tones— perhaps those of provocation or annoyance with the listener, or perhaps the intonation would simply have contracted and been reduced to the minimum. When a person anticipates the disagreement of his interlocutor or, at any rate, is uncertain or doubtful of his agreement, he intones his words differently. . . . A creatively productive, assured, and rich intonation is possible only on the basis of presupposed “choral support.” Where such support is lacking, the voice falters and its intonational richness is reduced, as happens, for instance, when a person laughing suddenly realizes that he is laughing alone — his laughter either ceases or degenerates, becomes forced, loses its assurance and clarity and its ability to generate amusing or joking talk.
Mikhail Bakhtin, Discourse in Life and Discourse in Art (Concerning Sociological Poetics)