Center for the Study of Language and Society

Punctuation as a resource for youth language practices: Evidence from Germany

Donnerstag, 24.09.2020, 16:15 Uhr

Vortrag aus der Reihe "Ringvorlesung Jugendsprache"

Das Forum Language and Society ist eine Reihe von Gastvorträgen zu Themen der Soziolinguistik. Doktorierende der GSAH können sich die Teilnahme als Zuhörende mit 0,25 ECTS pro Vortrag anrechnen lassen. MA Studierende der Soziolinguistik können sich nach Teilnahme an 6 Vorträgen 1 ECTS anrechnen lassen.

Veranstaltende: Forum Language and Society
Redner, Rednerin: Prof. Dr. Jannis Androutsopoulos, Universität Hamburg
Datum: 24.09.2020
Uhrzeit: 16:15 - 17:45 Uhr
Ort: online
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This talk examines the use of punctuation in digital language practices among young people drawing on empirical data and findings from recent projects. Innovative uses of punctuation marks are often mentioned in the CMC research literature since the 1990s but have rarely been studied in their own right. In the last few years, public discourse on digital punctuation marks, notably the demise of the full stop/period, is unfolding in newspapers, broadcast, blogs, and social media. This paper examines the usage of this and other punctuation marks in various genres of written digital interaction in German, and sketches out a three-level framework for the sociolinguistic study of digital punctuation in terms of graphemic variation, pragmatic functions, and social indexicality. Overall, digital punctuation is viewed both as a stylistic resource for digital interaction and as a feature of written language that undergoes sociolinguistic change. From the perspective of sociolinguistic research on youth language, variation and innovations in punctuation usage constitute both an age-grading feature and an instance of generation-specific language change in progress.