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Conversational Writing

A Multidimensional Study of Synchronous and Supersynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication

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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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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Without generous support from the English section of the Department of Humanities at Mid-Sweden University this book might not have seen the light of day. Thus, I wish to express my deep gratitude to my colleagues there for encouraging its publication, especially Terry Walker and Anders Olsson. The book is based on my doctoral thesis, written and presented at Uppsala University. I would like to acknowledge my Uppsala University colleagues for their constructive advice and scholarly support during the writing process. Most importantly, I am grateful to my doctoral supervisors Merja Kytö and Christer Geisler in this respect. Thank you all for your professional assistance and inspiration.