The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture, and Communication Online

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Two thirds of global internet users are non-English speakers. Despite this, most scholarly literature on the internet and computer-mediated-communication (CMC) focuses exclusively on English. This is the first book devoted to analyzing internet related CMC in languages other than English.

The volume collects 18 new articles on facets of language and internet use, all of which revolve around several central topics: writing systems, the structure and features of local languages and how they affect internet use, code switching between multiple languages, gender issues, public policy issues, and so on. The scope of languages discussed in the volume is unusually broad, including English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Japanese, Thai, and Portuguese. This book will be of great interest to anyone studying linguistics, applied linguistics, communication, anthropology and information sciences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book constitutes a landmark contribution to investigations into varied facets of language, culture, and onine communication. Just as [Naomi] Baron comments, it will prove to be a classic work among the internet literature. The volume will provide an invaluable resource for students as well as researchers in an array of fields." —Linguist List
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195304794
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/4/2007
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Hebrew University, Jerusalem (Emerita)

Indiana University

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Table of Contents

Contributors     xiii
Introduction: Welcome to the Multilingual Internet   Brenda Danet   Susan C. Herring     3
Writing Systems and the Internet
"A Funky Language for Teenzz to Use": Representing Gulf Arabic in Instant Messaging   David Palfreyman   Muhamed Al Khalil     43
The Multilingual and Multiorthographic Taiwan-Based Internet: Creative Uses of Writing Systems on College-Affiliated BBSs   Hsi-Yao Su     64
Neography: Unconventional Spelling in French SMS Text Messages   Jacques Anis     87
"It's All Greeklish to Me!" Linguistic and Sociocultural Perspectives on Roman-Alphabeted Greek in Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication   Theodora Tseliga     116
Greeklish and Greekness: Trends and Discourses of "Glocalness"   Dimitris Koutsogiannis   Bessie Mitsikopoulou     142
Linguistic and Discourse Features of Computer-Mediated Communication
Linguistic Innovations and Interactional Features in Japanese BBS Communication   Yukiko Nishimura     163
Linguistic Features of Email and ICQ Instant Messaging in Hong Kong   Carmen K. M. Lee     184
Enhancing the Status of Catalan versus Spanish in Online Academic Forums: Obstacles to Machine Translation   Salvador Climent   Joaquim More   Antoni Oliver   MiriamSalvatierra   Imma Sanchez   Mariona Taule     209
Gender and Culture
Gender and Turn Allocation in a Thai Chat Room   Siriporn Panyametheekul   Susan C. Herring     233
Breaking Conversational Norms on a Portuguese Users' Network: Men as Adjudicators of Politeness?   Sandi Michete de Oliveira     256
Kaomoji and Expressivity in a Japanese Housewives' Chat Room   Hirofumi Katsuno   Christine Yano     278
Language Choice and Code Switching
Language Choice Online: Globalization and Identity in Egypt   Mark Warschauer   Ghada R. El Said   Ayman Zohry     303
Language Choice on a Swiss Mailing List   Mercedes Durham     319
Language Choice and Code Switching in German-Based Diasporic Web Forums   Jannis Androutsopoulos     340
Anyone Speak Swedish? Tolerance for Language Shifting in Graphical Multiuser Virtual Environments   Ann-Sofie Axelsson   Asa Abelin   Ralph Schroeder     362
Broader Perspectives: Language Diversity
The European Union in Cyberspace: Democratic Participation via Online Multilingual Discussion Boards   Ruth Wodak   Scott Wright     385
How Much Multilingualism? Language Diversity on the Internet   John C. Paolillo     408
Index      431
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