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Conversational Writing

A Multidimensional Study of Synchronous and Supersynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication


Ewa Jonsson

The author analyses computer chat as a form of communication. While some forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC) deviate only marginally from traditional writing, computer chat is popularly considered to be written conversation and the most «oral» form of written CMC. This book systematically explores the varying degrees of conversationality («orality») in CMC, focusing in particular on a corpus of computer chat (synchronous and supersynchronous CMC) compiled by the author. The author employs Douglas Biber’s multidimensional methodology and situates the chats relative to a range of spoken and written genres on his dimensions of linguistic variation. The study fills a gap both in CMC linguistics as regards a systematic variationist approach to computer chat genres and in variationist linguistics as regards a description of conversational writing.
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ACMCAsynchronous computer-mediated communication
AIMAmerica Online instant messenger
ASCIIAmerican standard code for information interchange
BBSBulletin board system(s)
CMCComputer-mediated communication
EFLEnglish as a foreign language
ELCElectronic Language Corpus
FAQFrequently asked questions
ICEInternational Corpus of English
ICQ“I seek you” (chat)
IM Instant messaging
IRCInternet relay chat
LLCLondon-Lund Corpus (of Spoken English)
LOBLancaster-Oslo/Bergen Corpus
LSWELongman Spoken and Written English Corpus
MMORPGMassive multiplayer online role-playing game
MOOMUD object-oriented
MSNMicrosoft network instant messenger
MUDMulti-user dungeon
OEDOxford English dictionary
SBCSanta Barbara Corpus (of Spoken American English)
SCMCSynchronous computer-mediated communication
SMSShort message service (message)
SSCMCSupersynchronous computer-mediated communication
TTRType/token ratio
UCOWUppsala Conversational Writing Corpus
1PPFirst person pronoun(s)
2PPSecond person pronoun(s)
3PPThird person pronoun(s) ← 17 | 18 →