LINGUIST List 31.2924

Mon Sep 28 2020

Calls: Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 28-Sep-2020
From: Thomas Messerli <>
Subject: Commenting while watching: Synchronous and pseudo-synchronous text-based engagement with and about audiovisual artefacts
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Full Title: Commenting while watching: Synchronous and pseudo-synchronous text-based engagement with and about audiovisual artefacts

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Thomas Messerli
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

Our panel explores text-based communication that accompanies video-streams. Affordances that allow such communication exist for users of live-streaming systems such as Youtube Live, Twitch or Periscope, but also on platforms that focus on the delayed distribution of professionally produced fictional films and television series, such as or

Text-based commenting tied to video has first started on a separate, second screen (e.g. chatrooms or live-tweeting), and has then also moved to the same screen, where it typically takes place in a separate window (e.g. Youtube Live). There are also chat systems like danmu/danmaku ot timed comments on that synchronise viewer comments not with real time, but with the time of the videostream, thus creating an illusion of a communal experience among spatially and temporally distant viewers.

While there is abundant linguistic pragmatic research on many text-based CMC-practices, studies on digital communication oriented towards television broadcasts and videostreams have been sporadic so far. The extant literature consists mostly of case studies from different disciplines, which explore such aspects as motivations for contributing comments as well as for viewing socially enriched content; functions of comments for the viewing experience and for the viewing community; consequences of the co-presence of the video as primary and the chat as secondary communication channel, including aesthetic, but also psychological effects; the relationship between the streamed video and the time-aligned written comments. The case studies are typically limited to one particular platform or system (e.g. Twitter, Danmaku, Viki) or in some cases compare several similar sites (e.g. Periscope and Meerkat; Twitch and Youtube Live). What is missing then, is a consolidated effort to look beyond the specifics of individual chat systems and move towards more general insights into text-based videostream-oriented CMC practices.

With this panel, we want to bring together research about different chat systems, including those that have so far predominantly been in use in an Asian context and thus outside of the Western mainstream. Chat systems like danmaku/danmu may for the time being be largely limited to China and Japan, but the ongoing globalization of regional culture of which Japanese anime fan-culture and the Korean Wave are good examples, means that similar practices, e.g. timed comments on Viki, have already found new audiences also outside of Asia.

Second Call for Papers:

While we invite all researchers working on pragmatic aspects of timed or live commenting to contribute to our panel, we are particularly interested in the following topics:
- community building in timed/live comments
- construction of individual and group identities in comments
- engagement with specific aspects of the broadcast/stream (e.g. production, acting, content)
- negotiating engagement with the artefact and engagement with the community
- speech acts/conversational moves performed in comments
- expressing emotive stance
- intertextual references in comments
- sequential organization of comments (turn-taking)

Abstracts of 250-500 words need to be submitted by October 25, 2020 via the IPrA submission system at
Select the panel ''Commenting while watching: Synchronous and pseudo-synchronous text-based engagement with and about audiovisual artefacts''

For more information on abstract submission, see or get in touch with us directly.

Panel organisers:
Thomas C. Messerli (Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Basel)
Miriam A. Locher (Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Basel)

Page Updated: 28-Sep-2020