Internet Linguistics: A Student Guide
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The Internet is now an integral part of contemporary life, and linguists are increasingly studying its influence on language. In this student-friendly guidebook, leading language authority Professor David Crystal follows on from his landmark bestseller Language and the Internet and presents the area as a new field: Internet linguistics.
In his engaging trademark style, Crystal addresses the online linguistic issues that affect us on a daily basis, incorporating real-life examples drawn from his own studies and personal involvement with Internet companies. He provides new linguistic analyses of Twitter, Internet security, and online advertising, explores the evolving multilingual character of the Internet, and offers illuminating observations about a wide range of online behaviour, from spam to exclamation marks.
Including many activities and suggestions for further research, this is the essential introduction to a critical new field for students of all levels of English language, linguistics and new media.
that are available to us. We need to understand how electronically mediated language works, how to exploit the strengths and avoid the dangers, and this is where the developing branch of Internet linguistics can make a significant contribution. Terminological Caution Students of Internet linguistics need also to be aware that some of the terminology they associate with the subject of linguistic science appears on the Internet in a different guise. This is not the first time this has happened.
requires another lexicographic trawl – this time identifying all the words in a language which express positive and negative attitudes. Positive attitudes would be expressed using such words as wonderful, marvellous, and number 1; negative attitudes by awful, all-time low, and rubbish. (In an analysis of sentiment expressions in a dictionary I found 1,772 positive expressions and 3,158 negative ones. It seems we have the opportunity to say twice as many nasty things as nice things, at least in
linguistic profile appears. We need to distinguish between innocent conversations and those which, through their use of suggestive words and sentences, build up a suspicious pattern of discourse over time. Linguistic analyses of this kind are not easy to make, for reasons that are nothing to do with linguistics. It is difficult to obtain samples of authentic data to analyse in order to provide norms. This is a regular problem in forensic linguistics. How do paedophiles, fraudsters, and
output to establish just how many of these symbols are actually used, and how often. How easy is it to determine why an emoticon is used? Can social factors explain some of the differences? Neologisms are one of the distinctive features of some Internet outputs (p. 58). Choose an output and make an alphabetical list of the terms you consider to be neologistic. Or go to one of the online dictionaries and use the lists they provide, such as Twictionary or Twittonary.5 What types of word formation
http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/isis/. 3 R. O’Connell, A typology of child cyberexploitation and online grooming practices. Paper delivered to the Netsafe conference, Auckland, July 2003. Cyberspace Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire. 4 For this part of the investigation, I acknowledge the role of Martin Lee of Oxdigital, who provided the initiative for this study and wrote the software that was used to test it. 8 TOWARDS A THEORETICAL INTERNET LINGUISTICS 1 M. Twyman, The