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LINGUIST List 17.2322

Tue Aug 15 2006

Calls: Discourse Analysis/Pragmatics/Sociolinguistics/Sweden

Editor for this issue: Dan Parker <danlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Michael Beisswenger, Corpora and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis


Message 1: Corpora and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis
Date: 11-Aug-2006
From: Michael Beisswenger <michael.beisswengeruni-dortmund.de>
Subject: Corpora and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis


Full Title: Corpora and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis
Short Title: Corpora & Methods in CMDA

Date: 08-Jul-2007 - 13-Jul-2007
Location: G├Âteborg, Sweden
Contact Person: Michael Beisswenger
Meeting Email: michael.beisswengeruni-dortmund.de

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics;
Text/Corpus Linguistics

Call Deadline: 05-Sep-2006

Meeting Description:

Corpora and Methods in Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis

We invite contributions to a panel proposal for the 10th International
Pragmatics Conference (IPrA), 8-13 July 2007, G├Âteborg, Sweden. Proposals
are expected to discuss aspects of the panel topic (see detailed CfP
above), based on empirical research on computer-mediated discourse in any
language.

Panel organizers:
Jannis Androutsopoulos, University of Hannover, Germany
Michael Beisswenger, University of Dortmund, Germany

The purpose of this panel is to discuss methodological issues in
computer-mediated discourse studies. Computer-mediated discourse (CMD) is
used here as an umbrella term for all kinds of interpersonal (private and
public) communication carried out on the Internet by e-mail, instant
messaging systems, mailing lists, newsgroups, web discussion boards,
Internet Relay Chat, and web chat channels (cf. Herring 2001, 2004). While
CMD in the last decade has attracted a great deal of research attention
from the pragmatic, discourse-analytic, and sociolinguistic points of view,
methodological reflection still lags behind when compared to other areas of
discourse studies. While the collection of linguistic data on the Internet
seems trivial at first sight, researchers are confronted with a variety of
non-trivial questions in the further process, relating to e.g. the size of
a data sample, its representativeness or typicality, data processing
techniques, delimitation of genres, kind and amount of necessary contextual
information, as well as ethical issues of anonymity and privacy protection.
Much research in the field has been based on rather small, individually
compiled data sets. There is a lack of generally acknowledged guidelines of
corpus design as well as of publicly available, dedicated corpora of CMD.
In terms of methodology, language-focused research on computer-mediated
communication has drawn on methods and key concepts from a variety of
research traditions in linguistics (including pragmatics and conversation
analysis, interactional and variationist sociolinguistics, genre analysis,
and the ethnography of communication). These methods and concepts have been
fruitfully applied, and sometimes combined, to study how individuals use
linguistic resources to establish contacts, manage interactions, and
construct identities within computer networks. This panel will focus on the
need for critical reflection about the problems and challenges that arise
when these research traditions, originally developed for the study of
face-to-face discourse, are applied to the new settings and environments of
computer-mediated discourse. Does a one-to-one transfer of research
frameworks really lead to contextually rich understandings of language use
and interactional processes in CMD, or rather conceal some of its essential
new aspects? Research findings suggest that CMD creates important
implications for our understanding of key concepts such as interactional
coherence, participant frameworks, intertextuality,
language-identity-relationships, and the notion of community. To that
extent, an adaptation or even reconceptualization of existing concepts and
methods seems a necessary step in the further development of CMD studies,
and new research frameworks are already emerging (e.g. Herring's approach
to the study of online communities; Herring 2004).

Against this background, the contributions to this panel will focus on
questions such as:
- challenges, problems and solutions in the compilation and design of CMD
corpora, including the presentation of relevant new projects;
- corpus linguistics issues in CMD, e.g. acquisition, preprocessing and
annotation of data, ethical issues in Internet data collection,
representation and exchange of CMD data, collection and representation of
meta-data, tools for corpus storage and maintenance;
- social and technical conditions of CMD that need to be taken into account
when adapting concepts, frameworks or descriptive categories to CMD analysis;
- case studies that exemplify how established concepts and methodologies
are applied to sites of online discourse;
- ways of doing 'online' or 'virtual' ethnography as a point of
contextually rich entry into the study of online activities and communities;
- the benefits and challenges of combining various data sets (e.g.
logfiles, online participant observation, user observation, statistical
information, and user interviews) for specific research questions;
- the potential of combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to
language data in CMD research.

References:
- Herring, Susan C. 2001. Computer-mediated discourse. In Deborah Schiffrin
et al. (eds.) The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Malden: Blackwell. 612-634.
- Herring, Susan C. 2004. Computer-mediated discourse analysis: An approach
to researching online communities. In Sasha A. Barab, Rob Kling and James
H. Gray (eds.) Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of
Learning. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. 338-376.

Panel organizers:
Jannis Androutsopoulos, German Seminar, University of Hannover, Germany.
E-Mail:
jannis.androutsopoulosgermanistik.uni-hannover.de

Michael Beisswenger, Institute for German Language and Literature,
University of Dortmund, Germany. Email: michael.beisswengeruni-dortmund.de

Submission:
Short abstracts are invited for 30 min. paper slots (20 min presentation
and 10 min discussion). Please send your submission electronically to the
contact email above by September 5, 2006. Authors will be notified
individually about the further process.

Before sending us your abstract, please make sure you will be able to
attend the conference, thereby bearing in mind the IPrA conditions, which
include a full membership. More information on the IPrA homepage:
http://ipra.ua.ac.be/
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