Linguistic Exercise

You will make a foray into the different speech communities on the web. The internet is like a vast social space populated by countless new communities, many of which develop their own linguistic variants. Often, these “dialects” come to define the communities in which they emerge. Your task is to document and analyze one such instance.

a) Select an online community EXCEPT major social network sites like FACEBOOK, REDDIT, TWITTER, etc. Any other communities, forums, gaming, meme pages, etc. are fair game.
b) Briefly describe the community: what is it, what are people doing, how are they interacting?
c) In what ways does it constitute a speech community? Describe the “speak” or dialect of the community and compile a sample of distinctive utterances (and their translations into standard English). You may do this as a table or list, or in a narrative format
d) Briefly consider the question of symbolic capital and identity. How extensively do members code-switch? What are the attributes of the community’s codes and how does it mark the identities (and maybe social statuses) of its users?
– 3 pages, double spaced

Last Updated on February 10, 2019

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