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Accommodation in Instant Messaging

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Item Summary

Title:Accommodation in Instant Messaging
Authors:Matson, Ivana
Contributors:Schafer, Amy (advisor)
Linguistics (department)
Keywords:accommodation
instant messaging
computer-mediated communication
Date Issued:Aug 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:Differing levels of formality are salient to linguists and laypeople alike (Coupland 2014) - including in computer-mediated communication (CMC), which has not been extensively researched. As formality is so salient, it would not be surprising if users of CMC react differently to conversation partners who use different levels of formality, for instance by accommodating to their conversation partner’s formality level (Beebe & Giles 1984). In this study, sociolinguistic interviews were carried out over instant messaging - a synchronous, one-on-one form of CMC. To investigate accommodation, these interviews were carried out in two conditions: one where formal features were used, and one where informal features were used. During the last part of the interviews in both conditions, the conditions were switched. Standard capitalization is a common marker of formality in CMC (Lahti & Laippala 2014, also shown to be perceived as true by frequent CMC users in a pre-study); due to this, one of the main differences between these conditions was that the interviewer used standard capitalization in the formal condition, but no capitalization at all in the informal condition. The results indicate trends in the expected direction, as well as substantial variation acrossparticipants.
Pages/Duration:34 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/56552
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for Linguistics


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