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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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List of Figures, Tables, Charts and Schematic Representations


Figure 1: Status Update by the participant studying Business Administration and Communication Sciences, 1 semester in Sweden

Figure 2: Status Update by the participant studying Business Administration, 1 semester in Sweden

Figure 3: Status Update by the participant studying Law, 2 semesters in Portugal

Figure 4: Post by Friend from the non-Erasmus context on the Wall/Timeline of the participant studying Scandinavian Studies and Business Administration, 2 semesters in Norway; P – comments by poster, A1 to A8 – comments by participants; B1 – comment by Friend (non-Erasmus context)

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