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Image-based Online Communication: Observations on the Status of Images as Linguistic Constituentss in Computer-mediated Communication

Conference paper
Authors Joe Trotta
Markus Danielson
Published in McLuhan Galaxy Conference: Understanding Media, Today
Pages 689
ISBN 978-84-938802-1-7
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Pages 689
Language en
Keywords McLuhan, Semiotics, Multi-modality, Linguistics, Image-use, Online Culture, Computer-mediated communication
Subject categories English language

Abstract

In this paper we look at the use of digital photographs and images as a McLuhanesque extension of written language in computer-mediated communication (CMC). Borrowing the analytical tools of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), sociolinguistics, semiotics and conventional grammatical analysis, we explore user-generated multimodal utterances in the everyday conversational exchanges of selected internet messageboards. Representative examples are presented and discussed in terms of SFL metafunctions, sociolinguistic pressures, grammatical categories and occasionally semiotic signification. We highlight the use of images in CMC as markers of linguistic identity which are understood through the conventionalized meaning-making practices of some online communities.

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