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A Corpus-based Analysis of Non-Standard English Features in the Microblogging Platform Tumblr

9 pagesPublished: February 23, 2017


Linguistic deviations from the standard use of English in computer-mediated communication have been described by the literature as distinctive Netspeak features. Using corpus linguistics and register theory, I examine those linguistic deviations in a corpus extracted from the microblogging platform Tumblr to describe how language use is shaped by the Internet medium. The sample of grammatical, discourse and style features analysed included the use of personal pronouns, idiomatic expressions, abbreviations, examples, quotations, repetitions, intensifiers, emotional and offensive language, as well as other features such as break and run-on-sentences, typography, punctuation, and multimodal elements. The corpus analysis reveals that these texts are characterised as being mainly short written messages combining typical features of the written mode of communication and features of extemporaneous, spoken discourse. Findings also show a non-standard use of punctuation and typography, the inclusion of multimedia elements that helps to overcome the lack of immediate feedback and the use of non-segmental phonology in the conversation. The results of the analysis suggest that Netspeak (non-standard) linguistic features are determined by context and are thus more likely to appear in digital spheres such as social networks, blogs and chats, among users who engage in one-to-one conversations or users who belong to the same in-group, and in communicative situations in which hobbies and personal experiences are the most frequently discussed topics.

Keyphrases: computer-mediated communication, discourse analysis, Internet linguistics, register theory, social media

In: Chelo Vargas-Sierra (editor). Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective, vol 2, pages 295--303

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Rosana Villares-Maldonado},
  title     = {A Corpus-based Analysis of Non-Standard English Features in the Microblogging Platform Tumblr},
  booktitle = {Professional and Academic Discourse: an Interdisciplinary Perspective},
  editor    = {Chelo Vargas-Sierra},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Language and Linguistics},
  volume    = {2},
  pages     = {295--303},
  year      = {2017},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-5283},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/gln9}}
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