Professional linguist by day, and stand-up comedian by night, Emily Sabo takes you through three guiding principles on what the scientific study of language can tell us about what makes us laugh. By day, Emily is a Ph.D. student of Linguistics at The University of Michigan. By night, she performs standup comedy at dive bars near you. In her work as a linguist, she investigates the cognitive mechanisms that underlie bilingual language processing and the social priming that modulates how Midwesterners perceive Spanish-accented English speech in the U.S. today. Her passion projects include encouraging linguistic diversity, discouraging linguistic discrimination, and advocating for gender equality. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at