Emoji, hashtags, textual deformation: flesh on the bones of online language
Language doesn't convey meaning. Words, phrases, and sentences provide only a skeleton, the barest semantic bones on which hearers have to flesh out the richness and complexity of speaker meaning. That's quite a feat even face to face, so how do we pull it off when all we've got is pixels on a screen? I'll try to shed light on the ingenuity of online communication with the help of contemporary models of the relationship between language and communication.
Breffni O'Rourke is Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistic, Speech, and Communication Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. Online communication for language learning is among his research interests.
Breffni’s blog buddy is Helen Cousins.