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Heteroglossia Online

Translocal Processes of Meaning-Making in Facebook Posts


Caroline Schilling

The nature of communicative practices today, particularly in the context of digitalized media, has revealed that earlier paradigms on language contact do not prove to be fully satisfactory. Based on 1,507 Facebook posts of German university students participating in the Erasmus exchange program, the analysis aims at exploring how posters draw on their entire repertoire of local and «translocal» semiotic resources in interactions among speakers with diverse language backgrounds. The students under examination participate in actual processes of meaning-making by refashioning the semiotic potential of various features. As a result, the interlocutors create heteroglossic and polycentric posts to decollapse collided and fuzzy contexts and to negotiate potentially large and multiple audiences.

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3. Research Questions


3. Research Questions

On the basis of the theoretical background and previous research, as well as the discussion of communicative effects exerted on Facebook users, the following research questions are developed:

I: How do posters draw on their entire repertoire of linguistic and nonlinguistic resources to achieve particular, situated communicative aims?

II: Which strategies do posters adopt to decollapse fuzzy contexts, negotiate large, heterogeneous, multiple, invisible audience(s) with diverse language backgrounds and cope with the blurry boundary between public and private communication?

III: Which similarities and differences are ascertained regarding Status Updates and Wall/Timeline Posts?

IV: Do posters combine elements which are not perceived as belonging together due to processes of routinzation and sedimentation? How do they realize those combinations and which functions do they aim at fulfilling?

V: How do the Facebook users under examination create polycentric posts in order to evoke and refashion the social intentions and the inherent sociohistorical connotations of diverse centres as a means of decollapsing fuzzy and collided contexts? ←91 | 92→ ←92 | 93→

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