LINGUIST List 10.1610

Tue Oct 26 1999

Sum: Cyber-linguistic Questions

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Larry Chong(��ȯ), Cyber-linguistic Questions

Message 1: Cyber-linguistic Questions

Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 17:59:49 +0900
From: Larry Chong(��ȯ) <>
Subject: Cyber-linguistic Questions

Dear Sir & Madam,

Great thanks for you kind answers to my poor question.

I would like to thank you again, everyone! <>; 
Barbara Schrammel <>;
 Frank Joosten <>; <>; 
Dr Kormi Anipa <>; suying yang <>; 
R?y Viredaz <>; 
Deborah D K Ruuskanen <>; <>; 
Michael McHale <>; <>; 
Travis Bradley <>

Your comments are summarized as follows:

>1. Why netizns love to use as many acronyms as they could?
 >Ex) By the way --->BTW

****the tendency toward the use of reduced forms may reflect the 
importance of minimizing the effort required to communicate one's message. 
The pace of communicative exchange in such an environment is pretty rapid, 
especially among those who are "veteran" users and who feel they belong to 
an online community or communities, such as a an IRC channel.

**** to show their strong ties....
 linguistic economy

 >2. Why it occurs all over the sentences?
 >Ex) How are you? -->How R U?

This particular example is a good example of the minimal effort factor. 
Since the pronunciation of the letters 'R' and 'U' are equivalent to the 
words 'are' and 'you', then use of the letters would allow one to get the 
same message across with only two keystrokes instead of six. This may not 
seem like that big a difference, but when one is talking to several people 
in the same channel or separately, things tend to become very fast-paced. 
So anything that can be done to "say more with less" is definitely a plus.

>3. How we could classify these phenomena?

Werry (1996), which I discuss in my paper, has proposed a few categories 
for classifying the types of linguistic modifications that take place in IWD.

Travis shoed a phonological model, thanks again!

Frank did give me a nice model, it is wonderful!

1. Graphemic abbreviations (graphemic means: abbreviation only on paper;
when spoken, you use the base form) e.g.: viz., etc., i.e., e.g.

2. Graphonemic abbreviations: the abbreviated form is used in written and
spoken language and can be situated on a phonemic level (e.g. GATT
pronounced as 'get') or on a level in between the graphemic and the
phonemic level (e.g. CIA pronounced as 'see-ai-ei' (and not as one word
('seeya'). Graphonemic is thus the hyperonym of these two cases.

>4. How we can foretell its future of language behavior in cyber communities?

Everyone is not really sure about this one, and not really up on the literature 
enough to tell.

But I am sure that the more time netizens spend on line(CMC), the more
topics we will have to research and resolve.

Larry Dwan Chong,Ph.D. 

Dean & Professor
School of Foreign Languages & Tourism
Kyongju University
42-1, Hyohyundong, Kyongju, Rep. Korea
Tel: +82-561-770-5134
Fax: +82-561-748-2812
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