Calls: Written Language Use in Old and New Media

Full Title: Written Language Use in Old and New Media 

Date: 09-Jun-2019 – 14-Jun-2019 

Location: Hong Kong, China 

Contact Person: Imogen Marcus

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Pragmatics; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Writing Systems

Call Deadline: 15-Oct-2018 

Meeting Description:
(Panel organised by Imogen Marcus (Edge Hill University, UK) and Magdalena Leitner (University of Zurich, Switzerland). 

Language and new media is a rapidly emerging area of pragmatics which considers a number of topics, including, for example, pragmatic innovations emerging from the affordances and practices of digital communication, interactional phenomena and broader meta-pragmatic issues, such as code choice (Herring et al. 2013: 15). Research suggests that written language use in digital spaces is highly innovative in its forms and functions, on both a macro-linguistic level, in relation to larger units of discourse such as genre and on a micro level, in relation to structural features. 

Our panel, ‘Bridging the gap: pragmatic perspectives on written language use in old and new media’, provides a space in which researchers are encouraged to re-evaluate the assumptions and claims of digital communication research. It examines the extent to which digital practices really are ‘new’. Are there precedents to be found in earlier periods? Are there practices that demonstrate continuity between the pre-digital and the digital age? Are there practices that constitute genuine innovation within digital spaces? As various scholars have pointed out, innovation and continuity in digital communication practices need to be more carefully traced and differentiated (e.g. Herring et al. 2013, Fritz and Jucker 2000: 1). Our focus is on written communication that involves asynchronous interaction between at least two participants, that is, participants do not have to be logged-in simultaneously or be in the same physical space to communicate with each other. Examples range from letters on paper and letter-like exchanges in print to digital communication, such as email, instant messaging, text messaging, and the use of text on digital platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. 
Herring, Susan C., Dieter Stein and Tuija Virtanen. 2013. (eds.). Pragmatics of Computer-mediated Communication. (Handbooks of Pragmatics 9). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 
Fritz, Gerd and Andreas H. Jucker. 2000. Einleitung. In: Gerd Fritz und Andreas H. Jucker (eds.). Kommunikationsformen im Wandel der Zeit: Vom mittelalterlichen Heldenepos zum elektronischen Hypertext. (Beiträge zur Dialogforschung 21). Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 1-5

Call for Papers: 

Priority will be given to paper proposals discussing digital orality, especially how it relates to the residual‐manuscript orality of the Middle Ages, the content structure of messages, such as the sequence of conversational moves, narrative-interactional processes, pragmatic phenomena such as implicature or presupposition and how they work in different digital and non-digital modes of written communication, and the dynamics of participation frameworks. Papers concerned with the material context of letter-writing and its impact on the language of correspondence would also be welcome. The panel invites speakers working within different historical periods who may not otherwise join in conversation to promote fresh discussions from a trans-historical perspective. We welcome presentations that take as a primary focus the investigation of historical practices, digital practices, or both. 

Please submit abstracts to either or by the 15th October 2018. See this link for more information regarding the submission process: .

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