Typographic Alteration in Formal Computer-mediated Communication

  • Maíz-Arévalo C
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Abstract

Computer-mediated communication (CMC henceforth) is a typical example of multimodal communication inasmuch as it usually makes use of the textual channel in combination with the visual one –e.g. layout, colour, emoticons, typographic alterations of the textual code, etc. These multimodal elements have traditionally been linked to more informal computer-mediated exchanges and hence studied in genres such as informal emails, chats, social networking sites, etc. The question rises whether more formal exchanges make a similar use of typographic alterations or whether it is indeed limited to informal CMC. In order to answer this question, the present study focuses on analysing these multimodal elements in a corpus of pedagogical e-forums, where the transactional function surpasses the interactional one (Brown and Yule, 1983) and formality seems to be expected.

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Authors

  • Carmen Maíz-Arévalo

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