Case Study 7Case Study 7   THESIS COMPLETE .pdf

 Grammar of chatroom baseball talk

Conversational Analysis of Chat Room Talk PHD thesis by Dr. Terrell Neuage  University of South Australia National Library of Australia.

THESIShome ~ Abstract.html/pdf ~ Glossary.html/pdfIntroduction.html/pdf  ~ methodology.html/pdf  ~ literature review.html/pdfCase Study 1.html/pdf~ 2.html/pdf~ 3.html/pdf~  4.html/pdf~ 5.html/pdf~  6.html/pdf~  7.html/pdf~ discussion.html/pdf  ~ conclusion.html~ postscipt.html/pdf~ O*D*A*M.html/pdf~ Bibliography.html/pdf~  911~ thesis-complete.htm/~ Terrell Neuage Home Appendixes 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ DATA ~ Case Study 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7.  These links are from early notes and not the final edits which are in the published version available at the University of South Australia only. Not all links are active due to changing domains. Home page see http://neuage.co

 

 

Case Study 7                                                                                                                        1

CS 7.0 Introduction                                                                                                              1

CS 7.0.1 Why this chatroom?                                                                                              3

CS 7.0.2 Questions                                                                                                              4

CS 7.1 Methodology                                                                                                            5

CS 7.1.1 Transcriptions                                                                                                       5

CS 7.1.2 Theories                                                                                                                6

CS 7.2 Discussion                                                                                                                9

CS 7.2.1 Prague School                                                                                                     10

CS 7.2.2 Functional Sentence Perspective                                                                       16

Rheme and Theme                                                                                                                17

CS 7.2.3 Meaning-Text Theory (MTT)                                                                            17

CS 7.2.4 Grammar                                                                                                             19

Systemic-Functional Linguistics -Functional                                                                           20

Stratification grammar                                                                                                           21

Context                                                                                                                               22

Field                                                                                                                                    22

It is the usernames that establishes the social relationship between chatters,                            23

Mode                                                                                                                                  25

CS 7.3 Findings                                                                                                                  27

CS 7.3.1 Altered language                                                                                                 27

10,558 words Wednesday, August 27, 2003

CS 7.0 Introduction

This is the last of my case studies on linguistic analysis of text-based chatrooms. As I have not discussed the grammar of online text-based chatroom it seems fitting to place it at the end of my research. Chatrooms do not demand use of formal grammar, even at the often relaxed  andrelaxed and idiomatic levels of everyday conversation.  Spelling in particular, because of the rapid rate of scrolling text, seems to be an unimportant aspect. Abbreviations on the other hand do become important – part of the “anti-language” established for an “in-group” of expert and rapid key-boarding on-line communicators.  It is much quicker to write BTW than to write ‘by the way’. The abbreviation also functions as a way of signaling chatroom-use experience. 

There are many ways in which chatroom talk could be considered an informal use of language.  Will we stop using prepositions altogether, after extensive chatroom experience? Yet at another level it is possible to see not a “relaxation” of grammatical rules, but the establishment of a new set. This chapter will examine chatroom practices, to see whether particular usages are becoming sufficiently widespread and recurrent, as to constitute a new “on-line grammar”.

For Case Study Seven I have used another topic-specific chatroom. The one I will examine is on the topic of the sport of baseball. This follows Case Study 3’s Three’s chatroom analysis of another topic-specific chatroom, focused on onBritney Spears Chatroom’. Interestingly, in chatroom Chatroom three Three there were few utterances on the topic of the person on whom the chatroom was based. My findings there showed such high levels of inter-social or relational talk (greetings and group-behavioural “maintenance” work), that I was able to suggest that the topic worked more to select a delimited social category of participants: a “style tribe” of taste – and probably of age and gender – than to afford the opportunity for topic-based discussion.

In the other topic specific case studies, Storm’Storm”, Case Study 1One, and Case Study 6 Six on 3D animation’animation”, there was more dialogue in the chatrooms on the topic headings for the chatrooms, with evidence for group-maintenance behaviours being used to militate against excessive off-topic postings. But to date I have not considered whether particular repertoires of grammatical usage emerge to mark performance within given chatrooms.  . In this case study, Baseball Chat’Chat”, which combines an expert population with informal and colloquial speech behaviours,  I will research several linguistic models for examining the grammatical functions most often evident – and ask whether these are general across all sites examined so far, or whether some forms and behaviours are specific to this site..  

Researchers and linguistic historians, who study various aspects of online language, communication, cognition, socio-culture, psychology and other facets of cognitive and communicative behaviour, may find the discussion of grammar and structure below a useful modeling forum for researching online communication. If certain behaviours are coalescing around IRC, the formats in which they are configured must in and of themselves be relevant to the analysis. Indeed, recent re-theorisation within Cconversation Aanalysis in particular,particular and socio linguistics more generally, suggests that it is the preferred techniques in which cultural dispositions are being expressed which constructs identity. Rather than language “expressing” pre-established identities, it becomes a stage upon which selves are enacted; a surface on which identity is inscribed. Within such a theorization, the sorts of language selections dominant in a given context are indicative of more than communicative intent. In particular, the site and the cultural positioning of a speech context are likely to be impacting on both individual decisions to access such a site, and on subsequent behaviours within the site. A baseball chatroom thus becomes an important site: one likely to display gendered and classed language selections, yet within the casual or conversationalised” range, while mixing expertise and sociability. Baseball, as a widely popular male-dominated spectator sport, centres a great deal of general male social communicative activity – and thus becomes an ideal forum for the examination of distinctive communicative patterns in online use.

CS 7.0.1 Why this chatroom?

I chose baseball as a topic-specific chatroom to balance the probable gender-balance of the Britney Spears site, and to provide for a broader social range of users than in the specialist 3d animation room. Sports spectatorship is a broad-based social activity, which improves the chances of locating not a class or educationally-based grammatical usage, but one arising within the chat practices.  I have had a long interest in baseball. and o One of my sons was signed as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2001 and he is hascurrently played ing for Australia in the Baseball World Cup in Taipei (September 2002). Therefore I can also claim some expertise on the subject of baseball, which helps my analysis of the often specialized language content of the discussion. 

4.

/\--

<BLUERHINO11>  

1a. 

sox beat the tribe

5.

/\4?

<NMMprod>             

2a.

Nop

6.

/\4

<MLB-LADY>            

3a.

no clev fan but like wright

 

In the above three turn-takings, which are the first three turns I captured in this chatroom, it is clear that the ongoing topic is on baseball. The first speaker, <BLUERHINO11> says <sox beat the tribe>. The user name could be in part a name of the professional Major League baseball team in Toronto, the Blue Jays or it could have another meaning.  The utterance <sox beat the tribe> refers to the baseball team, Boston Red Sox and the tribe is another name for the Cleveland Indians., Bboth teams are in the same league, the American League, and are rivals. The next speaker, <NMMprod> does not have a username that is easily reduced to a baseball term and as it is only the second turn captured in this dialogue it is not possible to know whether <Nop> is a form of no in response to the early statement of <sox beat the tribe> or some earlier utterance.  The next user is easier to identify as a baseball fan, with the name <MLB-LADY>, MLB being the initials for Major League Baseball and ‘her’ response to turn 4 (/\4) is that she does not like the Cleveland Indians (the tribe) but she does like the pitcher (Jaret) Wright[1].   These turns are written in the abbreviated chatroom talk and the participators demonstrate their knowledge of both baseball and chatroom talk in this room. What they do not demonstrate however at this stage is any depth of expertise in the game beyond knowing results and the names of major players – all information which can be gained from general media news coverage. Is this then in fact an expert group, as with the animators in the previous Case Study, or is this instead a loose-affiliation topic-focus group, seeking sociality above information exchange? One way to examine this proposition is to test the grammatical selections and preferences of this group.

CS 7.0.2 Questions

Which at is the functions of grammar dominate in baseball chatroom language? In this case study I will examine theories of grammar, and look at grammatical patterning of the language used in this case study.

The questions I am posing for this review of chatroom grammar are firstly,  ‘Are there distinctive grammatical structures in chat dialogue?’ For example, is there a similarity to the everyday usage of broken English as it is used by speakers who have English as a second language? One web site that caters to non-English users has an area for English-speaking people, ‘CRIBE a Chat Room In Broken English’

‘English is not the only language on our small planet. Chat Room In Broken English (CRIBE1) is a cyber chatroom system for users of englsh as a foregin languages and anyone tolerant of misspelling, mistyping, system lag and diffrent culutures.’ See http://www.cup.com/ - http://www.cup.com/bm7/cribe.htm

Sorry Terrell, but this is a pretty offensive topic: “broken” English indeed. So there’s some perfect type? You must tell me some time exactly who speaks it.

and secondly, ‘Is there a difference between grammatical usages in  “live” conversational English and those of chatroom dialogue?   You can’t ask this question either: WHICH live conversations”? Language varies from context to context: linguistics has huge problems with postulating universals…

CS 7.1 Methodology

The methodology for Case Study 7, Baseball Chat, will be taken from various ‘schools’ of linguistics that concentrate on structures of the utterance. I will give a short overview of their basic premises, followed by an analysis of the usefulness of their linguistic views as analytical tools for the case study using chunks of chat. In the discussion section to this thesis, chapter 6, I will formulate my own conversational analysis of chatroom ‘talk’ taken from the various schools and theories discussed in all the case studies.  The chat I captured for this case study cannot be replicated as Talkcity[2] now uses java applets as shown above, and the utterance can no longer be cut, pasted and saved as they are in appendix six.  Doesn’t add anything.

CS 7.1.1 Transcriptions

The transcription method is the same as used in previous chatrooms. However, in orderI have endeavoured to discover how conversation flows within the chatroom between particular speakers, I and have put each user’s utterance in sequence in tables, as well as showing the more conventionally threaded  interactionalthreaded interactional utterances between the participants. Also, I suggest that removing usernames may not make much difference to the conversation in a text-based chatroom where people may not know each other, as each entrance of speech’ speech” is separated so that a reader can know the beginning and end of an utterance. For example,:

 

62.

<Nickatnite13>

How will Finley do for the Indians this year?

63.

<NMMprod>

hellolady

64.

<dhch96>

reds and red sox

65.

<smith-eric>

he'll do ok

66.

<Pizza2man>

fifteen wins...hell of a lot more than gooden

 

62. How will Finley do for the Indians this year?

63. hellolady

64. reds and red sox

65. he'll do ok

66. fifteen wins...hell of a lot more than gooden

 

With the usernames not inserted above the conversation, apart from the <hellolady> utterance, is as readable as it is with the usernames present. Usernames often are a source of greetings but once past that and there is a conversation developed or developing, it is the subject matter that is important. Therefore I am suggesting that the user names are NOT the codes chatters use to achieve de-threading – or at least the primary cues for that exercise. To this degree at least, the grammatical patternings of the language are significant, since it is these which help users determine response modes from new threads.

CS 7.1.2 Theories

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language . (Fromkin, ed. P. 1998.). Trying to find an umbrella for all the theories available in linguistic dialogue is difficult.  There are overlaps and overlaps of overlaps.  Often there seem to be very few little differences between Speech Act Theory, Discourse Analysis, Conversational Analysis and many other linguistic mazes.  R. M. W. Dixon addresses this problem, using es the term ‘Basic Linguistic Theory’ in his writings.,

The term Basic Linguistic Theory has recently come into use for the fundamental theoretical concepts that underlie all work in language description and change... (Dixon, 1997, p. 128).

 Others use this term in a similar way. For example, “Basic Linguistic Theory refers to the theoretical framework that is most widely employed in language description, particularly grammatical descriptions of entire languages (Dryer, Matthew S. 1995).  Therefore, for a language describer, Basic Linguistic Theory can describe all of the “structuring” features which regulate communicative utterances, and make them consensually meaningful.  In this case study I will examine chat using such “Basic Linguistic” grammatical descriptions, applying across many theoretical frames. 

In all communication there is the use of grammar. Without grammar there would be no communication. This may not be It is not the formal grammar of educated written communication. Yet And while a given grammar may be it is closer to the relative informality of everyday conversational speech, it is always going to be different from that as well, dependant upon its context, its user group, and its topic focus. Chatroom grammar therefore is likely to be a form that incorporates many traditional forms of grammar analysis, since it must be accessible to a broad – indeed in theory at least, entirely open – public of potential users. .  How then might such a traditional grammar be described, while at the same time open to indications of different, specifically online, practices?

 

Several of the discourse theories and linguistic schools of thought which focus on the exploration of explore grammar in conversation and the construction of meaning, including\: the Prague School of Linguistics (sSee, Vachek, 1966; Jakobson, 1980), Paris School Semiotics (sSee, Parret, 1989;, Perron and, Paul & Frank Collins, 1988), Tagmemic Discourse Theory (sSee, Edwards 1979;, Pike 19983) and Systemic Linguistics and Optimality Theory (sSee, Archangeli and Langendoen, 1997). There are many Grammar Theories: Categorial Grammar (See, Wood, 1993; Morrill, 1994.), Word Grammar (See, Hudson, 1995), Dependency Grammar (((See, Bauer, 1979; Fraser, 1994), Construction Grammar  ((See, Goldberg, 1995), Relational Grammar (See, Blake, 1990), Montague Grammar (See, Partee, 1980), Transformational Grammar (See, Roberts, 1992; Chomsky, 1957), Cognitive Grammar (See, Huttar, 1996), Generalized-Phrase Structure Grammar (See, Gazdar, Klein, Pullum, and Sag, 1985), Lexical_Functional Grammar (See, Bresnan, 2001), and yet as of December 2001 there were no  publications regarding an Online Grammar, which might would use parts of some of these other grammar theories. 

Grammar is the system of structural rules that describe how words combine with each other to form sentences. On the Internet in chatrooms speakers of English already have an instinctive knowledge of its grammar and it is this knowledge that enables us to distinguish a well-formed English sentence from one which is clearly ill-formed in natural person-to-person conversation. For example, native speakers of English would know that the following sentence is well-formed and `grammatical':

'I “I am not a Cleveland fan but I like their pitcher Wright.'

Native speakers can produce and understand a sentence like this without ever thinking about its grammar. Conversely, in a face to face or letter writing communication no native English speaker would say <no clev fan but like wright>.        

6.

<MLB-LADY>            

no clev fan but like wright

 

But in a chatroom not only would saying 'I am not a Cleveland fan but I like their pitcher Wright.',  look out of place in the steady stream of quicken chat, but there would not be the time to write it. , h Hence the version:  of <no clev fan but like wright> - a grammatical elision which fits the technologisation of online communication, and, immersed in the stream of other such postings pre-existing this one, signals the chatter’s capacity to perform speech acts suited to this online context.    

The main dimension of the linguistic systems to be explored below involves the distinction between linguistic resources (which describe the potential for forming well-formed utterances within a given language system’s repertoires) and linguistic processes (which describe how the resources can be used).[3] For example, Saussurean structuralists observe that, syntactically, "Terrell" and "Narda" are the same, as are "cat" and "rat." It is not the meaning of a word that provides one with a total meaning, but only the way it relates to other words. All of these examples are nouns, and can be used as nouns. The first two are proper nouns and can be used differently from the others – in that , for instance, while all can stand as noun subjects or objects in relation to sentence formation and their relation to verbs, only the first two may stand without definite or indefinite articles – since only the first two can convey identity outside a general category.  The “rules” outlined here pay no heed whatsoever to the meaning of these words – only to how they may, or may not, be placed in relation to other words.   One is thus able to define a word grammatically, only in a relation to the roles it plays with other words.   

To further complicate things, in chat turn taking, we often have to go beyond the turn to know what a word means”, even in the limited grammatical sense of establishing what role it is playing in the stream of communication. In the example below,

17. / /\ 16 <dhch96> 5 b. big baby

 

<big baby> is not a description unless we put it into context. Who is a big baby? What is a big baby? Are we speaking of a woman just giving birth to a large baby, or a big baby elephant, or someone who complains a lot? The two words big and  babyand baby can have opposite meanings, just as in small and tall. We need the earlier utterances in the chatroom to clarify what this means: which roles these terms are playing. So from the outset chat conversation relies on two layers of context: the words to which each word relates within an utterance, and those to which it relates in other preceedingpreceding utterances. While grammar can be seen to be regulated from within the systems of its home language, with some modifications in varying speech communities, online chat appears to have an extremely specialized speech community of usage, and a regulatory system built around

1)     the The possibilities of English

2)     the The conventions of selection used in standard conversation

3)     the The specialized vocabulary and usage of “topic indicated” speech communities and the special on-line needs of “de-threading” interpretation and its related cues.

 

With the rapidly evolving modes of communication electronically, from SMS messages to Palm Computers and the still in use ‘old-methods’, ie. computer text-based chats of the late 1990s and early first couple of years of the 21st century, which this study is concerned with, the grammatical structures of a new language appear to be re evolving. This new language is based on symbols (emoticons), hheavy use of consensual systems of abbreviation, and admits significant levels of creative wordplay and neologism, as well as such partial cues and “gestalt” forms as s and misspelt words and reduced sentence structures.  Knowledge of this new evolving language permits one to connect with another person to communicate meaning through written thoughts. Knowledge of chatroom linguistics in the chatter’s mind reveals their knowledge of “the language”. Chatroom dialogue format – at least at the graphic level of emoticons – already goes past nationality, culture and individual languages. In the appendix to the conclusion (appendix-conclusion, table 4) to this thesis I compare chatrooms of several nationalities to show that the same emoticons are used in many languages.  Already however such a selection contains paradoxes. Abbreviations for instance and the use of selected text forms are peculiar to the chatter’s native language, as are most examples of creative wordplay - but emoticons are becoming universal, deployed in many online language communities which work with the necessary keyboard elements. posing the question whether text-based chat could become  a universal language.

CS 7.2 Discussion

Theories build upon one another, and linguistic theories are no different. My reason for briefly looking at linguistic theory as I have below and as I have throughout this thesis is to discover what is useful and what I believe isn’t useful from the many ‘schools’ to build a theory of online dialogue. It is not the purpose of my study to explore any one of these theories in depth individually, rather I am looking at different methodologies employed by the different theorists to find one which can usefully be applied to this ‘new’ language of online communication.

CS 7.2.1 Prague School

I have begun with the Prague School (1920s and 1930s) as several of those who were influential in it are still being cited and their work is being expanded upon. A central aspect of the Prague School of Linguistics’[4] approach is the belief that linguistic theory should go beyond the mere description of linguistic structure to explain the functions fulfilled by linguistic forms - and this is important to the study of chatroom conversation.

The Formalists who were the members of the Prague School concerned themselves with a writer’s technical prowess and craft skill. Before Communist disapproval ended this movement in 1930 there was a growing trend to take account of the sociological dimensions important in the writings of the Bakhtin School’School”, which combined formalist and Marxist traditions into an analytical technique that eventually was ended by Nazism in the 1940s. What it offers this study is its offers insight into the ways that language,; as being formally regulated by such structuring systems as phonology, grammar and vocabulary formation, can could be linked to analysis of language in use: the systems as deployed by groups in distinctive social settings. Where de Saussure had been able to posit a binary coding system driving elements of language construction from phonology (Cat not rat; cap not cat) to grammatical rules (I runned? No, “ I ran”) or vocabulary selection (regal?  rRoyal? kKingly?) Bakhtin (1981) in his principle of dialogism was able to show that all communicative forms – spoken or written – were inherently intertextual (See Kristeva, 1984 and 1987), constantly working in and out of the ‘already uttered’ communications, to make new utterances, the meaning of which belonged to both ‘sender” and “receiver” of the utterance. 

The simultaneous coexistence of competing discourses or systems of usage, provided a dialogue between ‘voices’, that anticipated then answered one another. at the same time, unless Even when, as shown below, the speaker carries a monologue, the speech is built over pre-established texts, and re-enacts in varying ways their techniques. Bakhtin refered to this multitude of voices as a heteroglossia: different voices speaking together to form a complexly layered dialogue. In a chatroom every voice is then already a mosaic of voices, picking up and reapplying the textual and communicative forms of earlier postings and earlier chat experiences, in order to maximize comprehensibility. Yet, at the same time, inside the scrolling lines of chat’s technologisation, a different form of heteroglossia is compiled, with many simultaneous voices competing with one another to be heard and answered.

 

In turn 84 of this baseball chatroom for instance,  <smith-eric> states: <cinni has already changed rules for jr.>  (Cincinnati Red’s outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.). There is no earlier indication of a thread to discussing this player, or references which can help decipher which what ‘rules’ are being discussed.  The only other response to this utterance is in the next turn, where <Pizza2man> says <he'll hit sixty in cincy...maybe sixty five>. This is referring to how many home-runs Ken Griffey Jr. may hit. In 1997 and 1998 he hit 57 home-runs for Seattle which puts him on target to hit 60 plus home-runs in a year. Babe Ruth’s record was 61 home-runs in a year. There is no other discussion of Ken Griffey Jr. until <smith-eric> in turn 95 continues with his or her own discussion, saying,  <jr. will sell the tickets!!!!!!>. <Pizza2man> replies <already has!>. In this sequence of turns there is are a multitude of voices, yet with one voice seemingly operating alone at least until <Pizza2man> cooperates. Much the same can be said however for the other exchanges and turns within this extraxctextract. What emerges is a set of different conversational relations, each ongoing in its own dialogue, yet technologised by the chatroom software into a merged entity or multilogue. , that of <smith-eric>.

 

84.

<smith-eric>

cinni has already changed rules for jr.

85.

<Pizza2man>

he'll hit sixty in cincy...maybe sixty five

86.

<BLUERHINO11>

u

87.

<dhch96>

boston

88.

<Pizza2man>

with casey and vaughn around him...he'll see a ton of good piches to hit mwillie1 !

90.

<Chris_Pooh>

Hey Mike

91.

<BLUERHINO11>

asl dhch96

92.

<mwillie1>

hey chris

93.

<BLUERHINO11>

wuts th nic mean

94.

<dhch96>

24 m bos

95.

<smith-eric>

jr. will sell the tickets!!!!!!

96.

<dhch96>

me and wifes name and ann.

97.

<Pizza2man>

already has!

 

 Only by reconnecting grammatical connections here can we discover which turns relate to others. Turn 86 with its single character entry can be seen to be a question, once turn 87 “answers”, with the location cue, “boston”. But this only becomes clear as a correct reading, once we arrive at turn 91, where <BLUERHINO11> as querant cues <dhch96> to continue disclosure as to identity, with the chat-form convention asl” – “state your age, your sex, your location”.   The reply at turn 94 complies: <dhch96> is 24 years old, male, and lives, as we learned above, in Boston. A second question: “wuts th nic mean”, receives the reply: “me and wifes name and ann.” – presumably indicating a couple called for example “David Hogan,” married to “Carol Hogan”, in 1996 – their “ann.” or anniversary”. Grammatically, we have clear question-answer exchanges – yet until these are reconstructed, the actual referents of each term used remain obscure.

Both intertextuality and dialogism are therefore central to chatroom conversation – yet even at the most basic of linguistic levels, Prague School thinking can be used to uncover display new and inventive elements of linguistic change in play. Bakhtin’s  gave the term dialogism here reveals a in order to imply the double interplay within of communication: language building itself within pre-existing regulatory systems, learned from earlier communicative experiences, and another logic of two or more communicative relations ons progressing at the same time. The logic describes the distance and relationship between different units of a sentence or narrative structure, or in a chatroom the different turn-takings, indicating a becoming in opposition to the level of continuity and substance, both of which obey the logic of being and are thus monological as all chat turns are independent speech events.

Because the phonic elements of language are absent in print text, voicings” cannot cue us as to who speaks which utterance. Wwe re-learn a cue technique as readers, discovering for instance how to unravel even unattributed dialogues, relating comments to possible speakers.  to  We become expert at using e context to distinguish between those elements distinctive in meaning, but similar in phonetic composition. To some extent within text spelling conventions cue us to decisions which might be harder in spoken language: for instance, dispelling any problem between “cue” and “queue”. But in chatroom conventions, where abbreviation rules, both of these are likely to be rendered as “Q”.  Perversely, even at the level of phonology which might seem almost irrelevant absent in texted chat, we are confronted by the need to actively interpret which phonic elements refer to which semantic elements, by referring not to the aural binaries which regulate language at the phonological level, but to the much broader social and cultural context which we call discourse.

148. / /\ <Pizza2man> still has a 4 era

 

Read aloud, especially at random; for example when a person just arrives in the chatroom setting and sees a phrase such as, <still has a 4 era>, this posting is most likely to be construed as  ‘four era’. Then the question could be asked, ‘what is a four era?’ An era could be a time period, such as in the Internet era. It could mean many things.  Google Search Engine gives gave a result of 13,300,000 entries for the letters, era (for example, Equal Rights Amendment, Electronics Representatives Association, European Regions Airline). This would mean that “era” in this utterance could potentially have any of thirteen million referents. But in this utterance there is a shared knowledge of meaning: a specialist discourse. In baseball slang, “era” is the Earned Run Average, and is important for a pitcher, as he or she wants to keep the era at a low number, usually fewer than three. A pitcher with a four era is allowing four runs per nine-inning game, which is not considered good. Once the referent is in place, not only does the ambiguous phonological element become meaningful, but its communicative load may be immense – as in this case. The feature of post 148 which suggests this reading however is the grammatical construction. The suppression of the subject (“he”) is so common in chatroom usage as to signal through its absence and if the implied “he” is signified in this way as agent of the verb, and as doubled by the term “still”, then we are cued to locate a possible subject within a pre-existing prior utterance, to which this will act as a reply. Scroll far enough back, and we will find a requisite “he” – one who we can expect to have been praised, since the logic here is that he carries a handicap (the era of 4) which may disqualify him as a successful player signaled by the insertion of “still”: an argumentative indicator suggesting something which must yet be taken into account.

 

Secondly, is there a phonology The capacity for interpreting and responding to this reduced and recoded online grammar is clearly present. It includes for instance grammatiucal roles for emoticons, which act as we have so often seen above, as intensifiers or mitigators effectively, in terms of traditional grammar, as adverbs, heightening or softening the intended speech acts of chat participants. ?  When a chatroom user sees :) or “I say this smilingly”,  is there is no a phonological referent.? Even when the emoticon suggests weeping, or an abbreviation phrase refers to a physical response (for instance, “LOL”, or “laughing out loud”), there is no little evidence that the action or emoting actually occurs.  What we come to then, as this thesis argues often, is that what is said in a chatroom is only translatable by those who know the online ‘chat acts’ of that room: who are thus conversant in its additional grammatical features, constituting a new expressive range. , and is quite This grammar has already evolved to a stage where it is strongly rendered in communicative elements which are outside the repertoires scope of live-enacted, face-to-face, “natural conversation”, and yet which also defy the formal grammatical conventions and narrative techniques of texted prose genres. .

Does this imply a “chat universal” repertoire however, or are there grammatical conventions which are chatroom or at least chat-topic specific? It is difficult to tease out such possible specialist repertoires from their natural conversational and even popular media texted equivalents. In some special chat communities for instance it is the vocabulary alone which appears to signal s the discursive frame.  One who is not Anyone unfamiliar with baseball for instance may have difficulty understanding the sequence of utterances in this baseball chatroom.

31. <CathyTrix-guest> anyone have predictions for who will take the west?

32. <BLUERHINO11> yans, sox,orioles,jays,rays.......indians....mariners  rangers   a's,angels.........final     standings

 

<CathyTrix-guest> is referring to the Western Division of the American league, or  soor so <BLUERHINO11> must believe, or he or she would not have responded with the team names. <BLUERHINO11> shows not only a the knowledge of the requisite baseball teams, but has enough time in between turns (either he or she is a very fast typist or there is a long enough pause in between turns to provide the utterance) to list not only several teams in the Western Division <indians....mariners  rangers   a's,angels.........> [The  Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and the Anaheim Angels] but also the Eastern Division Teams <yans, sox,orioles,jays,rays.......>.  [The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Devil Rays]. There is only one error in this list and that is the indians.... [Cleveland Indians] who are in a different division (American League Central Division) than the other two lists. But the second feature of this response lies in the compression of its structure: its complete elision of any personal verb-subject structuring: “I think that…”, or “My list would be…” in favour of a direct listing. This plunge into the instrumental is often held as the preserve of high-masculine speech behaviours, as opposed to relational female speech work – or at least to the claims masculinity has traditionally exerted over the occupancy of public spaces and discussions (see for instance Holmes, 1998). But the apparently simple “listing” of nominals also carries two other grammatical markers: firstly, the reduction to colloquial abbreviations especially in the case of the Anaheim Angels – and secondly the use of suspension points (…….) to segment the entries into their regional League categories. There, even the possible error of attribution with the inclusion of the Cleveland Indians in a Wwestern league listing is semi-negated by the suspension of that team within two sets of extended dots.

 

Here then at least three forms of grammatical work are under way. Firstly, <Bluerhino11> annexes the colloquial nominals which emerge from sportschat inside natural conversation in real world settings, to list a predicted set of winners. By adding to this claim on familiar expertise the sorts of abbreviation behaviours which act in everyday speech, and especially in everyday male speech, a breezy disregard for formality and a set of “in group” conventions for indicating consensual usage, <Bluerhino11> enacts a powerful speech format which endorses a right to express opinion, and to be listened to. But at the same time this utterance slides its grammatical features across into the very similar grammatical formulae of online chat. There too abbreviation acts to license authority and the right to utter, as we have so often seen in earlier case studies. And finally, <Bluerhino11> uses keyboard functions exclusive to online chat – in this case, the points of suspension to segment the categories listed, and so reinforce the expertise and knowledge of the regional Ledague structure which underlies the posting. There is then in this one posting an indication that online grammatical codes are both co-extensive with, and differentiated from, specialist codings in natural conversation – and especially so in topic-specific zones, such as baseball chat.

 It could be argued then that the style of utterance in a chatroom is a form of dialect.

"…speakers of one dialect may be set off from speakers of a different dialect by the use of certain pronunciations, words, and grammatical forms" (292). Roger W. Shuy (1998, p. 292).

In a spoken dialect, phonological cues are especially qually important in when we identifying what someone means. “Accent”, read back as preferred pronunciation of some phonetic elements, is absent from texted chatroom talk. ; selection of some lexical items and grammatical constructions, and recurrent So are those conventional arrangements of intonation, pitch and pace, which we learn to relate to regional or classed communication preferences is once again only partially available within chatroom practice.  But the selection of some lexical items and grammatical constructions, especially when recurrently used, and the texted indication of certain phonic behaviours and grammatical elisions (“gonna”, “gotta”, “ain’t”) are all continuous with dialectical forms. SinceWhile the use of certain words or grammatical forms in speech  marksspeech marks a person's membership within the communicative forms chatroom of that dialect,  shared “local” meanings of emoticons and abbreviations are also used to compensate the loss of other linguistic markers. It it should be anticipated that chatrooms are also segregated according to the ‘accent’ of their text. Therefore, as is shown iI In this baseball chatroom, having a shared subcultural knowledge (the beginning of the baseball season) is as important for a successful chat speech event to be accomplished. But so is  as knowing what the shared language is, and being able to perform within that discursive order.

126. / /\ <dhch96> 5w. sox are gonna get radke

 

Sox would be understood by others in the chatroom to be the Boston Red Sox baseball team, while Brad Radke, at the time of this chat, was a second base player for the Minnesota Twins. Within this specialist discursive frame then, the selection of “gonna get” becomes “accented” by elements of the class, masculinity and contestational aggression associated with talk about competitive sports. Once again, interpretations must be established from within context – this time, the “local” context of surrounding postings in this thread. Two interpretations of what <dhch96> means could be firstly, “Radke will be recruited into the Red Sox team” – which would give the utterance a tone of positive affirmation – or “the Red Sox players will completely outplay Radke and leave him looking foolish” – which colours the comment altogether differently. In either case, even in the absence of direct intoning of the words, “accent” is present.

*Itf we would be assumed that what is meant is that Radke would ill be recruited into the Red Sox team history would have proved us wrong. . This chatroom is at the beginning of the baseball season in April 2000, however a few months later it is clear that Radke did not go to the Boston team.

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Brad Radke made his first start since becoming the richest player in Minnesota Twins' history but on this night, Boston Red Sox rookie Paxton Crawford was a better bargain.  USA Sports NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - http://neuage.us/2014/July/ - Today Jul 06, 2000. Online.[5]

In hindsight the second interpretation, “the Red Sox players will completely outplay Radke and leave him looking foolish”, came true.* Make this a footnote.

Already it is becoming apparent that the apparently simplest of chat utterances requires multiple layers of linguistic analysis to tease out its complete communicative activity.  No There then is not one linguistic school of theory which can accommodate all of the necessary interpretive elements.

The next theory I will look at, as part of an understanding of how structure in a chatroom dialogue is established, is the To extend the sorts of basic grammar analysis used above to examine the complex relations between online and natural talk forms, it is necessary to look at how the total structure of an online dialogue can be described and interpreted. The theory of Functional Sentence Perspective (FSP). FSP is concerned with the distribution of information as determined by all meaningful elements, from intonation (or online, for speech), to emoticons and abbreviations) to context.

CS 7.2.2 Functional Sentence Perspective

Functional Sentence Perspective (FSP) was developed in the early 1960s by J. Firbas[6] and others in the tradition of the pre-war Prague School as a means of analysis of utterances in terms of their information content. With FSP, the semantic contribution of each major element in a sentence is rated with respect to the dynamic role it plays in communication, such as in interaction with the prior utterances in a chatroom. It refers to analysis of utterances (or texts) in terms of the information they contain, the role of each utterance part being evaluated for its semantic contribution to the whole. The notion of communicative dynamism has been developed as an attempt to rate these different levels of contribution within a structure, particularly with reference to the concepts of rheme and theme.

 

Theme and rheme Rheme and theme are the parts of an utterance alluding representing in the first instance to already given information, which iscommunication   which is considered the lowest level degree of communicative dynamism (or CD), and in the second instance to : i.e. the amount that, in context, they communicate to addressees is the least. These form the theme. Parts representing new information. These latter elements have the highest degree of communicative dynamism, and : these form the rheme. Parts which have an intermediate degree are sometimes said to form a transition between theme and rheme.

Rheme and Theme

The term ‘Theme’ is used to refer to the elements of an utterance which serves as the point of departure of the message.  The remainder of the message, the part in which the Theme is developed, is called in Prague school terminology the Rheme (Haliday, 1994. p. 37).

Rheme is the part of a sentence which adds most to the advancing process of communication; it has the highest degree of communicative dynamism as it expresses the largest amount of extra meaning, in addition to what has already been communicated. Below, consider look at the posting: <How will Finley do for the Indians this year?> Adding <for the Indians this year?> provides extra meaning in this chatroom. Given the fact that in a chatroom the common approach to dialogue is to disburse only a few words at a time, adding a complex the Rheme to an utterance is unusual. Within FSP therefore, we are able to see that chat communication may often carry comparatively low levels of dynamism.

Theme (themat-ic, -ization) carries the lowest degree of communicative dynamism. The theme is the part of any sentence which adds least to the advancing process of communication. It expresses relatively little (or no) extra meaning, in addition to what has already been communicated., When <Nickatnite13> asks <How will Finley do for the Indians this year?> and in reply, <smith-eric> says <he'll do ok>, his contribution remains focused on theme. His own rheme element is minimal - “ok” – and he fails to pick up anything offered by Nickatnite’s rheme extension: “for the Indians this year”. Replies which could have developed discussion on the Indians, or on this season’s play, or on the Indian’s record this year as opposed to previous years, all fail. The minimalism of chat appears to favour theme over rheme.

23<Nickatnite13>  How will Finley do for the Indians this year?

26. <smith-eric>. he'll do ok

 

 

What this suggests is that there may be dynamism inhibitors inside the technologisation of online chat including for instance both the requirement for brevity arising in the technical limitations on space and pace of entry, and the socio-cultural demand for adjustment of speech act styling into the semiotic modes of abbreviations and emoticons as expressives and relational markers. These both enforce significant amounts of “theme” over “rheme”, building large amounts of conservatism into the chat text, and requiring all participants to attend to the stylistic demands of a given chat location before uttering. In terms of the reader response theories which began these case studies, chat then becomes a markedly readerly” communicative form. How then might we describe the grammatical demands of this act of reading a chatsite and its transactions? Is there a linguistic theory and method of inquiry which can help us to examine the processing activities as they unfold?

 

CS 7.2.3 Meaning-Text Theory (MTT)

Meaning-Text Theory (MTT), was first developed as a theory by Zholkovskij & Mel'chuk (1965),. MTT operates on the principle that language consists of as a mapping from the content or meaning (semantics) of an utterance to its form or text text(phonetics). In a chatroom, MTT is useful for detecting how  a  if the chatter is able to map content quickly enough to respond – and for assessing differences in the mapping repertoire, as chat develops its own distinctive communicative forms. . However, if one entered t

 

The baseball chatroom for this Case Study offers extreme challenges to MTT analysis. and saw this complete conversation, h How can chatters would they know, without reading  and remembering the turns taken ings earlier, what the semantics here revealed?

In the turns, 99 – 111, every utterance, with six chatters involved, is linked to by what was said before turn 99.

 

98.

 /

/\

<NMMprod>

2n.

if you like the yanks press 3

99.

 /

/\

<dhch96>

5p.

1111111111

100.

 /

/\

<BLUERHINO11>

1l.

got it

101.

 /

/\

<dhch96>

5q.

1111111

102.

 /

/\

<smith-eric>

8j.

5555555

103.

 /

/\

<dhch96>

5r.

11111111

104.

 /

/\

<dhch96>

5s.

111111

105.

 /

/\

<CathyTrix-guest>

6g.

2I hate the Yankees

106.

 /

/\

<smith-eric>

8k.

don't have a 3

107.

 /

/\

<Pizza2man>

7o.

12456789

108.

 /

/\

<CathyTrix-guest>

6h.

2blech

109.

 /

/\

<NMMprod>

2o.

hahahahahaha

110.

 /

/\

<dhch96>

5t.

yankees s-ck

111.

 /

/\

<BLUERHINO11>

1m.

im removing that # now

 

A person who enters at turn 99 has no clue what the dialogue is about. For the content of this dialogue to be mapped one needs more than the immediate content. Even to follow the speech events which ensue means a quick reading of the participants’ expertise with their keyboards: the knowledge for instance that # is the keyshift for 3. The degree to which the postings switch from direct contribution to the “like or hate the Yankees” challenge  to competitive play within the repertoires of chatroom keyboard codings – and recognition of clever contributions – indicates yet again the predominant focus on the formalities of chat communicative activity itself., eEven in topic-selected chatrooms participants appear to raise their participation levels highest at such moments of play across the chat repertoire. Here rheme” is achieved by creative use of a limited keyboard – all in response to a single “themic” element. , and perhaps beyond that the aAttention is thus focused on given to patrolling the “chat community” as expert at two levels: that of the chat topic, but also in regard to chat skill. This is a double discursive focus, as signaled in post 100, where <BLUERHINO11> indicates that the joke-code has been broken. But by post 102 chatters have begun playing within the new repertoire including the cleverness of posts 107 and 111, which act within the repertoire of keyboard entry, to deny the act of homage to the Yankees. All chatters – even those working only at the simple repetitive insistence of <dhch96> - display immediate capacity to read the degree to which <NMMprod> has coded semantic load inside online chat format. Across this dialogue stream responses interact, not only referring back to the themic cue of <NMMprod>’s original challenge, but to individual “rhemes” as they add to the repertoire. When <smith-eric> at post 106 denies his capacity to praise the Yankees (“don’t have a 3” – a good joke for its obvious untruth -) <Pizza2man> picks up not the omission technique, and intensifies the wit by omitting the 3 in his listing evoking <dhch96>’s subsequent suppression of alphabetic markers at post 110. In other words, participants prove able to map semantic and formal loads both back to the initiating moment, and from moment to moment and all at the pace of chat posting, and within its preferred repertoires.. So does such an exchange, seemingly enjoyed by all as a peak moment of online communications, indicate the emergence of a new, reduced and double-coded, online grammar? Which other elements of traditional or formal texted or spoken grammar are absent, or transformed, in online usage? And is this a steady, replicable, and universal online re-processing, or do individual online chat communities – and even individual chatters – enact an online grammar differentially?

 

In the next paragraphs I will look at a wide variety of grammar theories to see if any one or a combination of some may be useful in capturing this dual-focus  emerging within online chat.

CS 7.2.4 The loss of formal or traditional text Grammar   

Once chattersone learns the language, it appears that they then can speak like a native, displaying a sometime formidable command of online codes. But they can never become be in effect ing an online native speaker (ONS). Speech behaviours are established first off-line, and are then modified for online use – most notably by the current technology which at least demands that texted formats intervene in the “chat” processing. Yet the logic of this developmental trajectory suggests that online chat, mediated through writing, would have become more formal than natural speech – not, as we have seen, markedly less so.

 

Online chat is already in its short history notable for its flouting of at least some of the rules for formal written-text grammar. Most immediately obvious is perhaps the loss of rigorous capitalization rules:

[Not capitalizing "I"] is fairly typical and seems to be a direct result of the immediacy of the computer mediated communications environment. This...is probably due to a sense of urgency that is not usually present in a writing mode coupled with a medium that takes much longer to compose a message in. Capitalization is something he just does not want to bother with - it takes too much time and destroys the flow of his "speech". The same is true of spelling errors and other typographical blunders. The written word on the net is built for speed, not for show. If, in the opinion of the writer, the meaning is more or less clear there is no social need to go back and correct such blunders. (Giese, 1998).

To many people grammar refers only to the basis for “proper” communication[7]. Presentation of our language to others signals many things, for example, our command of language, our social position, our educational level and much about ourselves. “Improper” grammar is thus often associated socially with laziness, low self-esteem or being a ‘foreigner’. However, the focus in Internet chat is on constructing effective or meaningful messages quickly. Traditional rules of grammar are replaced with a new set of emerging grammar protocols – and the meaning of “grammar” for analysis of this shift must move to that of formal linguistics, where grammar is examined first as a system of regulation of word order, established consensually within given languages, and again within their social sub-sections, to optimize communication.  In other words, to make the sorts of “inclusive or exclusive” social regulatory decisions based on grammatical “correctness” which dominate the popular understanding of the term “grammar”, we must first be able to undertake the purely “descriptive” work of the formal linguist, in identifying which elements in a given language or “dialect” are considered standard or variant.

In NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - http://neuage.us/2014/July/ - Today’s online environment we can rarely form make a definite social opinion about another person based on their ability to write online. For example, my physician types painfully slowly, with one finger at a time, however, she has been through university and medical school. Meeting her in a chatroom may at this level be the same as corresponding with a child. She has told me that she has never used a chatroom because her typing skills were too poor. However, iI If she were communicating in a chatroom with many speakers and the text was scrolling by at a rapid rate her timely consumed utterances would quickly be lost in the shuffle. However, if instead of being careful and typing slowly to be accurate with grammar and spelling, she typed quickly and disregarded the forms of speech she was disbursing, the others in the chatroom might would not take her professional doctor qualifications seriously. In a chatroom then we we can assume authority not from externally recognized credentials, but from the internally obvious cues of high levels of chat “literacy” – the capacity to process and enter texted talk rapidly, and with creativity, inside the keyboarding repertoires of online grammar.  that it is not the person speaking who is qualified outside the linguistic chat-circle but the one who is highly computer literate, especially with the use of emoticons and abbreviations who is taken seriously as one worth listening to.  When <BLUERHINO11> is able to list the baseball teams above, properly segmented in the quick notation of chat, keeping the colloquial nominals, and reducing grammatical sequences to the bare minimum,  we would treat him or her with respect, for both the baseball expertise and the chat literacy displayed.  and as one to listen to because of his or her knowledge to accomplish such a linguistic feat in such a short space of time. Traditional grammatical exactness as required in high-social status speech and formal written texts has been replaced by systems of reductive syntax and compensatory keyboarded creativity, built from within the very limits placed on CMC by its technologisation. So is there yet in existence a linguistic theory and associated analytical method with terms ot describe this reduction-compensation online grammar?

Systemic-Functional Linguistics -– the functions of online chatFunctional

The function of language is central (what it does, and how it does it) within the field of Systemic-Functional Linguistics[8] (SFL ).  In place of the more structural approaches, such as the Prague School mentioned above, which place the elements of language and their combinations as central, SFL begins with social context, and looks at how language both acts upon, and is constrained by the social context.

The social context in a chatroom is the chatroom milieu itself. The social context of an online community is a self created and constantly changing group. Without a moderator as discussed in Case Study Five, the group goes from one topic to another with no set direction. As was shown above, see Appendix 6, Table 5, the ‘Tangent Topic Thread’ (TTT) usually lasts only a few turn takings before another topic-thread is started and the group joins that. Even within topic-selected chatrooms, as we saw above, the talk often turns to the relational or to the skills of chat entry. Chat is “theme” directed, rather than dynamically skewed to “rheme” construction.  SFL can help us to finally assess the “sociality” of chat, by locating the major social ‘functions” to which it is oriented.

 

The social function of communication, as theorized within SFL, can range from entertainment to learning to communicating news and information. "The value of a theory," Halliday wrote, "lies in the use that can be made of it, and I have always considered a theory of language to be essentially consumer oriented" (1985a, p. 7).  A theory of online linguistics, the social ‘what-is-said’, as with any technological based communication, will always have changing values and redeveloped theories. Grammar is thus by definition flexible rather than unchanging, natural and organized around the text or discourse and with such a fluid communicative form hat as that found in electronic communication of chatrooms, natural grammar is a grammar both of change which embodies and discourages traditional rules.  of grammar at the same time. The rules, described as netiquette have been discussed in Case Study six (CS 6.2.3) the challenging of the rules in order to carry on a dialogue have been shown in this case study when several speakers decided to communicate through using numbers as language describers.

Central to SFL is the concept of 'stratification'. Linguistic function is divided for the purposes of analysis into its social context, its semantic loading, its deployment of a lexico-grammatical selection, and its phonological-graphological choices. In chat terms this relates to the specifics of a given chat community, the topic focus or relative lack of one, the terms and structures used from posting to posting to build threads, and the online chat codings recurrently itemized above: abbreviations, emoticons, creative use of the keyboarding repertoire. , analyzed by the four strata of Context, Semantics, Lexico-Grammar and Phonology-Graphology.

Stratification grammar

Stratification grammar views language as a system of related layers (strata) of structure. Stratification grammar[9] has two meanings: 1) the act or process of stratifying or the state of being Stratified or 2) a stratified formation. The first of these allows us to assess the formational processing carried on in chat.

Stratification firstly allows language to be examined for its relation to context, introducing consideration of what is called Tenor and Mode. Context concerns the Field across which the talk plays (“what is going on?”), while Tenor considers the social roles and relationships between the participants (“who are these people?), and Mode reviews the ways in which the talk is conveyed, considering aspects of the channel of communication, such as whether it is monologic or dialogic, spoken or written, +/- visual-contact, and so onetc. (Halliday, 1985).

Context

Field

In "Online on Time: The Language of Internet Relay Chat," Juliet Mar includes within refers to ‘Field’ as the entire context of an online the conversation: the activity, the topic, and language choice. In her view “what is going on?” is answered not by the topic advertised for instance in a Talk service listing, such as those for Talkcity, but instead by what an arriving participant witnesses as they log on and enter a given chatroom. In my case studies of chatrooms I refer to the ‘Field’ as the chatroom itself, what the topic is about or what the chatroom concerns. It is also the activity that is going on whether there is a social air or flaming. The ‘Field’ in a sex chatroom is talk about sex, in a baseball chatroom as in this case study the Field is the interactive dialogue about the game of baseball. The ‘Field’ is announced as the title to the site: Her system would therefore produce an understanding of chat “field” as experienced in the following strata:

1. The ‘Field’ as topic title:,

*** Welcome to Talk City *** baseball talk

 

2. The ‘Field’ as activity:,

sox beat the tribe

no clev fan but like wright

 I sure hope wright gets out of his funk this year

 hes a headcase

 

3. The ‘Field’ as language choice:,

fifteen wins...hell of a lot more than gooden

With the run support I say 20

won't be coked up like gooden either

2anyone have predictions for who will take the west?

sox, orioles, jays, rays  mariners, rangers, a's, angels...    final standings

 

Having indicated the field across which talk is proceeding, has the chat wreader” entering a site exhausted the possible information being offered? Within SFL, T tenor is also considered, an element concerned with processing and indicating the social relationships among the participants, including their relative power or status.. Power (or status)

Tenor

Usernames alone can be seen to work to form the social roles between chatters. These are the first-encountered signals as to a participant’s intended relation to others in the chatroom. But usernames alone are no guranateeguarantee that what is promised will be and can be delivered for “tenor” is established in a broad range of chat activities:  and is the ‘tenor’ in the chatroom.

Tenor is concerned with the social relationships among the participants. Power (or status), contact, and affective involvement are three important dimensions of Tenor. Power is the operator (an individual that monitors, guides, and polices the room), an individual that seems to be an "expert" on the topic at the time, or one that has a more aggressive style in the conversation. Contact comes in various forms, both intimate and frequent. This contact can lead to affective involvement. Since contact is usually not outside the chat environment, affective involvement is usually low . (Juliet Mar,  (2001).

It is the usernames that first work to establish es the social relationship between chatters:,

BLUERHINO11

NMMprod

MLB-LADY

MollyChristine

dhch96

CathyTrix-gues

Pizza2man

smith-eric

Nickatnite13

Chris_Pooh

KnobbyChic-11

mwillie1

Neeca-Neeca

           

Except for the user <MLB-LADY> (Major League Baseball) none of these users can be identified by their name as anything to do with baseball. In fact, except for the probable pizza lover <Pizza2man> and the Nickolodeon cable TV fan <Nickatnite>, these names create no baseball-expertise claims. give no clues to the users.  However, the fact that there are no socially unacceptable names;, nothing that would stand out as to be confrontational, as one would find in a sex chatsite, indicates some degree of intentional neutrality.  where the  In sexchat users are quite clearly identified in relation to how they want to be identified regarded by others: and one would know by the usernames what the chat site is about:

 

:)Skipped school

Ali Kat (asian fem)

Black Love [M]uscle

Drew(wifes at school)

FuckBuddy(m)Pa
HardOne47
Hike my Skirt (f)

I(M)pressive Proportions

Lisa-PornAddict
Nice Old Guy down the street

Older is Better (M)

Prison Guard

Slut Trainer

Toronto Guy

cousin lover (F)

justforfun(m)

paolo
soccer boy

 

In this case tThe tenor for ensuing exchanges is set by the names alone, in effect operating as invitations to the establishment of specialist threads within a general discussion. of the speaker can set the tone for a discussion or development of a thread, Compare the relatively neutral and non-informative baseball chat names, where initiating postings must be produced to evoke discussion threads:

98. <NMMprod> if you like the yanks press 3

 

In this case <NMMprod> began a thread that continued for another fifty-two turns, whilst <SWMPTHNG>’s comment in Case Study 1 began a thread that continued for fifty-five turns – albeit many of the responses evoked proving antagonistic and combative:.

75. <SWMPTHNG> THERE'LL BE PLENTY OF MEXICAN ROOFERS IN N CAROLINA NEXT WEEK

Within chat spaces tenor thus appears, as Julie Mars suggests, a combined and flexible element, constructed not only from a combination of communicative features, but varying between chatroom types. Is Tthe same could perhaps be true of other SFL categories.?

 

Mode

Mode in SFL terms is refers ring to the special circumstances marking a particular communications channel – in the case of chat the symbolic (emoticons and other typed representations) and or rhetorical techniques distinctively present, channel and the role which language plays in the situation (Halliday and Hasan, 1985:, p.12). The mode is formed by the type of electronic communication discourse fostered within the varying Internet modes already established, such as email, discussion groups or chatrooms. Mode in chatrooms can be further is broken down into that found in  textin text–based chatrooms, visual chatrooms (with web camera) and multimedia chatrooms. These chat–modes in turn include are broken down into the Instant Messenger (IM) forms with two participants or larger chatrooms with many participants. And each has already established particular speech relations (tenor).

 

Using the text–based modes of chatting mutes the visual and aural ranges of physical activities that offline users use to communicate. A large part of the power of new technologies to accommodate these intersecting and overlapping layers of reality lies in their power to simultaneously expand and constrain interactants mutual monitoring possibilities, giving the participants greater control over developing how the situation is enacted. (Sannicolas, 1997). Because there are no physical objects, spaces or barriers participants are often thought to negotiate physical alignments and levels of involvement at will. The mode then becomes the framework that is chosen by  the chatters seeking to interact within certain forms of relation. to interact in a discourse. Perversely, a A large chatroom with dozens of participants and the chat moving at a rapid rate provides an arena of the highest safety for a chatter to be non–committed in a discussion. The aura of invisibility is heightened and it is easier st to be a lurker hiding amongst many voices than it would be in a chatroom of only a few speakers. The least safe arena to be in and not participate would be in an Instant Messenger chatroom, where the one-on-one mode invites a social relation of intimacy, demanding active participation and an expectation of disclosure. .

A chatter One just entering the baseball is chatroom centringcentering this Ccase Sstudy confronts a medium-activity chat flow, with multiple threads already established, a topic clearly designated, and chat-expert formulae on display. The tenor and mode thus align, cueing the new entrant to the functions a of this chat, and to the systems within which it operates. While , not necessarily knowing exactly who ‘jr. is in the following extract, the Baseball Chatroom entrant is unlikely to about may assume a general discussion about that someone is selling tickets to the baseball game, perhaps even a young person, as the letters jr. often denotes, junior. But in this case the person referred to is Ken Grifey jr., the baseball player discussed above. And that he will sell tickets based on his popularity, as people will want to come and see him play, is a given of baseball lore. .

95.

<smith-eric>

jr. will sell the tickets!!!!!!

 

Even in the absence of experience of preceding threads, a new chat entrant is likely to review their previous out-of-chat experience of baseball players and the tag jr”, to establish the referent. Topic, acting to establish field, stands in for the missing data – and so the chat still functions.

In this study I am researching the written word as the spoken word in its dialogic format, but because of the nature of turn taking in chatrooms also has a monologic quality to it, I am forced to consider a mixed-mode.  There does not need to be another participant in the chatroom to enter script.  Immediately SFL alerts me to an interesting social element of chat experience.

CS 7.3 Findings

CS 7.3.1 Altered language

In this chatroom on baseball all Each of the linguistic approaches to of grammar surveyed during analysis of this baseball chatroom have proven able to contribute to our understanding of how chat functions, specifically at the level of its structuring. Yet none can totally answer looked at do not explain the question asked at the start of this case study; What is the function of grammar in chatroom language?

Instead, what we have discovered is the insight offered by SFL: that grammar, rather than establishing an unchanging repertoire of structuring rules for composition of utterances, is a flexible and shifting system – or set of sub-systems, each established in and providing the basis for a specific communicative space. Language forms in any chatroom, as we have seen, are is constantly altered - both deliberately, in the search for creative expression, and by mistake, arising in the pressures of the CMC technologisation. Mis-s spellings and changes to language witnessed on the Internet may not be altogether deliberate. Typing can lead to accidental changes in spelling and punctuation. On the other hand the grammar of chatrooms, if when  enacted it is done intentionally c. Can display is a highly sophisticated form of new texted-talk processing prose that is semantically innovative and daring.

Below, <CathyTrix-guest> in turn 108 of the baseball chat site says <2blech>, an utterance  which has no conventional linguistic place inside any grammar. Is this a noun? A verb? If a verb, is it a command? A request? An insult? What is implied by its combination of numerals and alphabetic characters?  Within the “new grammar” of IRC, specifically within this chatroom, and in particular within the response patterns of this thread,  the, the utterance is keyed within but in this chatroom it is an appropriate grammar.  as tThe The 2’ 2” refers to an earlier request for chatters to press the ‘31(3)? key if they liked the New York Yankees. <CathyTrix-guest> emphases his or her dislike of the Yankees by pressing a lower different key to han31’ and confirming her representation of disdain it with a a blech’blech. This is not a recognized which is not a word semantic element, but has the same letters as ‘belch’, and most likely would be interpreted as ‘belch’ which is a fairly conventional onomatapoeiconomatopoeic or phonetic vomiting representation. In this at turn there is therefore both deliberative linguistic response even while the riposte perverts the intention or request of the original posting. e and mistaken altered language. In turn 77 <MLB-LADY> asks asks if dd any see the atanta score’score”? with two spelling errors. Assuming the correct wording is, did any see the Atlanta score’score”?. I would suggest that the first miss spelling is a deliberate alteration to save time in typing, while the second is a simple typing error.. The removing of vowels in text-based chat is common, for example: <msg> for message,  <ppl> for people and <plz> for please. But in neither case is the meaning lost because of the suppression. At the level of both chat convention and simple error, the reconstructive capacity of online wreaders” is able to prevail. Online grammar is sufficiently flexible to admit change at many levels, without loss of comprehensibility.

 

108.

<CathyTrix-guest>

2blech

77.

<MLB-LADY>

nmm whats new? dd any see the atanta score they played u. of georgia

126. /

<dhch96>

sox are gonna get radke

127.

<MLB-LADY>

hi chris

128.

<BLUERHINO11>

i hope so d

 

As well as leaving out letters, single digits are conventionally used in place of whole words: u – you, 4 – for,  r –are, c – see, 2 - to; and in 128 below <BLUERHINO11> refers to <dhch96>by using the single initial letter d. Within SFL this allows us to see not only a flexible and indeed constantly developing grammatical repertoire actually under construction and re-application, but because of the stratified processing, we can also recognize that such moves as <BLUERHINO>’s use of the single letter “d” construct a particular social relation, as well as a new grammatical coding for his interlocutor. Here “d” is admitted to the colloquial “nicknaming” techniques of diminutives, which indicate familiarity, informality and friendship.

In chatrooms, grammar is thus a developing protocol. Common practice theories of grammar may be are applied differently in chatrooms – and in different chatrooms, and sometimes even differently within a given chatroom. In everyday social interactions ety, we have learned to use  the use to grammar to judge people in terms of social status and education. In chatrooms the rules have changed. A person may be judged by how efficiently he or she types, by their expertise in deliberately miss-spelling words by leaving out vowels to indicate the pace of their utterances and their familiarity with chat modes, as I have demonstrated. Unlike in face-to face formal or professional conversation, or high-status text genres, one does not seek to impress others in chatrooms by the correct use of both spelling and grammar. What is “correct” in chat spaces has already clearly moved on, to suit its own communicative conditions, and to permit variability into the increasing range of online modes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1]

Pitching Statistics for Jaret Wright

TEAMS

W

L

PCT

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

SV

IP

H

ER

HR

BB

SO

1997 Indians

8

3

.727

4.38

16

16

0

0

0

90.1

81

44

9

35

63

1998 Indians

12

10

.545

4.72

32

32

1

1

0

192.2

207

101

22

87

140

1999 Indians

8

10

.444

6.06

26

26

0

0

0

133.2

144

90

18

77

91

2000 Indians

3

4

.429

4.70

9

9

1

1

0

51.2

44

27

6

28

36

2001 Indians

2

2

.500

6.52

7

7

0

0

0

29

36

21

2

22

18

CAREER

W

L

PCT

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

SV

IP

H

ER

HR

BB

SO

5 Years

33

29

.532

5.12

90

90

2

2

0

497.1

512

283

57

249

348

Pitching Statistics for Jaret Wright

TEAMS

W

L

PCT

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

SV

IP

H

ER

HR

BB

SO

1997 Indians

8

3

.727

4.38

16

16

0

0

0

90.1

81

44

9

35

63

1998 Indians

12

10

.545

4.72

32

32

1

1

0

192.2

207

101

22

87

140

1999 Indians

8

10

.444

6.06

26

26

0

0

0

133.2

144

90

18

77

91

2000 Indians

3

4

.429

4.70

9

9

1

1

0

51.2

44

27

6

28

36

2001 Indians

2

2

.500

6.52

7

7

0

0

0

29

36

21

2

22

18

CAREER

W

L

PCT

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

SV

IP

H

ER

HR

BB

SO

5 Years

33

29

.532

5.12

90

90

2

2

0

497.1

512

283

57

249

348

 

[2] Talkcity went bankrupt in early August 2002 and is no longer in existence.

[3] See www.wagsoft.com/Papers/Thesis/01Introduction.pdf for further research on ‘Integrating Diverse Descriptions See www.wagsoft.com/Papers/Thesis/01Introduction.pdf for further research on ‘Integrating Diverse Descriptions

[4]. Vachek's Josef. The Linguistic School of Prague: An introduction to its theory and practice, published by Indiana University Press in 1966.

Below is copied form the Prague School’s front page, http://www.bohemica.com/plk/plchome.htm (29 March 2002).

 http://www.bohemica.com/plk/plchome.htm (29 March 2002). I have copied it for reference purposes due to often occurring disappearing pages on the Internet.

‘The Prague Linguistic Circle was one of the most influential schools of linguistic thought in pre-war linguistics. Through its former members like Roman Jakobson or René Wellek (http://sun3.lib.uci.edu/indiv/scctr/Wellek), it influenced modern American linguistics as well as many other linguists in the world.

Although the 'classical period' of the Circle can be dated between 1926, the year of the first meeting, and the  beginning of WWII, its roots are in much of the earlier work of its members, and also it did not completely cease its work with the outbreak of the war.

Among the founding members were such personalities as Vilém Mathesius (President of PLC until his death in 1945), Roman Jakobson, Nikolay Trubetzkoy, Sergei Karcevskiy, Jan Mukařovský, and many others who began to meet in the mid-twenties to discuss issues of common interest.

The, at first, irregular meetings with lectures and discussions gradually developed into regular ones. The first results of the members' cooperative efforts were presented in joint theses prepared for the First International Congress of Slavicists held in Prague in 1929. These were published in the 1st volume of the then started series Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague.

The Théses outlined the direction of the work of the Circle's members. Such important concepts as the approach to the study of language as a synchronic system which is, however, dynamic, functionality of elements of language, and the importance of the social function of language were explicitly laid down as the basis for further research.

[5] In hindsight the second interpretation, “the Red Sox players will completely outplay Radke and leave him looking foolish”, came true

 

[6]  J. Firbas has written extensively on, Communicative dynamism. See, The Theory of Functional Sentence Perspective as a Reflection of an Effort Towards a Means-Ends Model of Language.

[7] See, Grammar Rules and Other Random Thoughts at,

http://www.csh.rit.edu/~kenny/misc/grammar.html viewed 4/2/2002 12:21 PM.

[8] For a good introductory article by Matthiessen and Halliday, see:  http://minerva.ling.mq.edu.au/Resources/VirtuallLibrary/Publications/sfg_firststep/SFG intro New.html . viewed 4/2/2002 12:21 PM. More notes on Systemic-Functional linguistics, by Carol A. Chapelle at, http://www.wagsoft.com/Systemics/Definition/chapelle.html and Systemic Functional Theory, from the Systemic Modelling Group at Macquarie University at http://minerva.ling.mq.edu.au/Resources/VirtuallLibrary/Publications/sf_theory.html

[9] Stratification grammar http://www.library.wwu.edu/cbl/ray/concept_dictionaries/fairhaven_student_work/stratification.htm

http://www.library.wwu.edu/cbl/ray/concept_dictionaries/fairhaven_student_work/stratification.htm

contact Myanmar 2014

NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - http://neuage.us/2014/July/ - Today working on picture poem links starting around "better" (28 August 2014). Picture poems are the digital format of work I did as a street artist in New Orleans in the 1970s, as well as New York City, Honolulu, San Francisco and Adelaide South Australia. .

web analytics
View My Stats

 

index

 sitemap

 advanced

 

web analytics
View My Stats

 

contact Myanmar 2014

NEW SITE = JULY 2014 - http://neuage.us/2014/July/ - Today working on picture poem links starting around "better" (28 August 2014). Picture poems are the digital format of work I did as a street artist in New Orleans in the 1970s, as well as New York City, Honolulu, San Francisco and Adelaide South Australia. .

web analytics
View My Stats

 

index

 sitemap

 advanced

 

web analytics
View My Stats