LINGUIST List 11.1801

Thu Aug 24 2000

FYI: Smart Communications & MIT2, M/C 'Chat' Issue

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. MIT2USA, Strategic Alliance: Smart Communications and MIT2
  2. Felicity Meakins, M/C 'Chat' Issue, Univ of Queensland

Message 1: Strategic Alliance: Smart Communications and MIT2

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 11:32:31 EDT
From: MIT2USA <>
Subject: Strategic Alliance: Smart Communications and MIT2

Issued from Kingston, Jamaica
21 August 2000:

Strategic Alliance between Smart Communications and MIT2

A strategic alliance has just been announced between 
Smart Communications Inc and Mason Integrated 
Technologies Ltd (MIT2).

Smart Communications offers technology and software 
tools to help writers, editors and translators create clear 
and concise documentation, including computer-aided 
language translation and systems integration for 
electronic publishing.

MIT2 is a software development and service provider 
specialized in language processing solutions with a 
particular focus on Creole languages.

Smart Communications has agreed to license to MIT2 
the paired English / Haitian Creole versions of the 
SMART Translator automated machine translation 
system. MIT2 will customize these systems and offer 
machine translation technologies to Creole-speaking 
and Creole-interested markets as part of its Creole 
Tool Suite(tm). This tool suite includes a range of 
products and services for authoring / translation 
document workflow processes.

For more information:

Smart Communications Inc
885 Third Avenue, 29th Floor
New York, New York 10022 USA
Tel: (+1) 212 486-1894, Fax: (+1) 212 826-9775

Mason Integrated Technologies Ltd (MIT2)
P.O. Box 181015, Boston, MA 02118 USA
Tel: (+1) 617 247-8885, Fax: (+1) 617 262-8923
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Message 2: M/C 'Chat' Issue, Univ of Queensland

Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 08:45:54 +1000
From: Felicity Meakins <>
Subject: M/C 'Chat' Issue, Univ of Queensland

 The Media and Cultural Studies Centre at the University of Queensland
 is proud to present issue four in volume three of the award-winning

 M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture


 'chat' - Issue Editors: Felicity Meakins & E. Sean Rintel

This issue of M/C explores the notion of 'chat', examining its contexts,
forms, functions and operations. 'Chat' appears to be a descriptive subset
of 'talk', often characterised somewhat unfairly as idle or frivolous
'small talk', 'gossip' -- the kind of t�te-�-t�te that is mediated through
cups of tea (alluded to in Jen Henzell's cover image). However, 'chat' is
not only an extremely prevalent activity, but, as Trollope implies, a
primary social activity. Serious academic regard for 'chat' can be traced
to Malinowski's coining of the term "phatic communion" to refer to talk
that expresses the "ties of union", a notion later taken up by Laver.
Watzlawick, Beavin and Jackson made a similar distinction between the
content level of communication (contains assumptions that are communicable)
and the relationship level (which reveals the speaker's attitude to the
assumptions communicated and the speaker's relationship with and opinion of
the hearer). 'Chat', they argue, is more about building and solidifying
relationships between interactants than imparting information. Even gossip,
probably the most content driven form of 'chat', lets hearers know that
they are regarded well enough by the speakers to be drawn into confidence.

We have divided the M/C 'chat' issue into two sections along the lines of
context. The first section deals with what might be termed 'traditional' or
'more general' forms of chat, where the interactants are either physically
(face-to-face) or acoustically (telephone) copresent. Given both the period
and the medium in which M/C 'chat' is being published, it should not be
surprising that the second section deals with computer-mediated
communication (CMC). With the advent of CMC, 'chat' -- and research on it
- has been transformed, taking with it much of the old formula and leaving
behind some of its trappings.

These are the articles you can find in M/C's 'chat' issue:

 "Two Rhetorical Uses of the Description 'Chat'"
Charles Antaki explores the paradoxical manner in which the description of
a discursive event as 'chat' may be used to socially persuasive ends.

 "Still on Holidays Hank? - 'Doing Business' by 'Having a Chat'"
Alec McHoul and Mark Rapley see strategy not only in description but in the
strategic nesting of 'chat' within another discursive situation. In an
analysis of a computer helpline call, a switch to an informal 'chat' mode
is seen to be useful to the successful conclusion of a formal business

 "Chatting in the Neighbourhood - Does It Have a Place in the World of
Globalised Media?"
Mark Frankland's article is a broad diachronic and synchronic overview of
the place local media such as 'chat' and community newspapers fit into in
an evolving and increasingly global media-scape.

 "Invitation or Sexual Harassment? An Analysis of an Intercultural
Communication Breakdown"
Zhu Yunxia and Peter Thompson examine intercultural potentials for
miscommunication within a series of three telephone invitations to a party,
from a male Chinese tutor to a female Australian student, which resulted in
an accusation of sexual harassment.

 "The Naturally-Occurring Chat Machine"
Darren Reed and Malcolm Ashmore perform an interesting methodological
reflection on the nature of the data collection and the transcription
processes of Conversation Analysis.

Special CMC Section:

 "Computer-Mediated Chat: Ways of Finding Chat Partners"
Paul ten Have begins the CMC section with an introduction to some of the
fundamental features and concerns of CMC research in his ethnographic
investigation of how to find someone to talk to in a chat room.

 "E-Mail and the Problems of Communication"
Derek Wallace observes a growing belief that electronic chat is not the
more restricted form of communication, as first suggested, but a different
form which is potentially useful in supplementing face-to-face interaction
within businesses.

 "Neither Male nor Female: Other - Gendered Chat in Little Italy"
Miranda Mowbray investigates Little Italy's gender presentation options and
considers why other-gendered participants are more likely to remain in the
one space than those who chose 'female' or 'male'.

 "Familiars in a Strange Land: A Case Study of Friends Chatting Online"
Cynthia Campbell and Scott Wickman observe that most IRC work has
concentrated on chat between strangers. They choose instead to concentrate
on computer-mediated chat between acquaintances.

 "Swedish Chat Rooms"
Ylva H�rd af Segerstad discusses the result of questionnaire data and
logged conversations to determine if written online Swedish is being
adapted in ways particular to it, or if the Swedish written language is
being developed in analogy, with adaptations observable in international
chat rooms.

 "Chatting to Learn and Learning to Chat in Collaborative Virtual
Teresa Cerratto and Yvonne W�rn discuss the importance of conversation to
educational contexts and the communication problems inherent in using an
electronic medium as an educational tool.

 "Statistics of Major IRC Networks: Methods and Summary of User Count"
Kajetan Hinner has created a system capable of capturing usage statistics
for all the major IRC networks, making this system available on his
Website. His article details the processes involved in creating the Socip
statistical program and sample graphs of the kinds of information that his
system can provide.

Downloadable Article:

 "Dialogue on Film and Philosophy"
Ulf Wilhelmsson's article is a Socratic dialogue about film in which
Quentin Tarantino moderates a discussion involving numerous influential
philosophers, film-makers, film-scholars and the odd Beatle (John Lennon).

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And in other news, recently published M/C Reviews articles include:

"Subverse: 2000 Queensland Poetry Festival"
 by Carolyn Hughes

"Review of 'Alternative Australia: Celebrating Cultural Diversity'"
 by Susan Luckman

"Leisure Works Best: 'Sharing the Work, Saving the Planet'"
 by Guy Redden

"Skin Deep: Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts"
 by Melissa Western

"Rock'n'Roll Circus Discovers Exquisite Danger"
 by Christopher Totten

 These -- and more -- are available in M/C Reviews at

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About the Australian Public Intellectual Network:

The API Network links Australian Public Intellectuals across the nation. It
is dedicated to public intellectual debate in Australia and incorporates
online resources with serial and book publications, journals and
supplements. See the Website at < >.

- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
M/C issue four, vol. three is now online: < >.
Previous issues of M/C on various topics are also still available online.
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
M/C Reviews is now available at < >.
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
All M/C contributors are available for media contacts:
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Axel Bruns

 M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture
 The University of Queensland

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