I am going to be writing a fair amount about sociolinguistics this semester. My ultimate project is to choose a data set to analyze for linguistic style and stance. What I hope to learn is if and how the methods of sociolinguistics can be applied to online writing. I am interested in how the digital world is changing writing expectations, and I think sociolinguistics can be a good window into this.
Because I am still unfamiliar with the different ways style and stance can be observed, what my ideas are right now are to look at a few different online writing environments.
- Academic publications done for print audiences then put online
- Academic writing done for purely digital journals
- Adolescent writing done on blogs, both their posts and what they write in comments on other posts and in response to comments on their posts
I am in the early stage of formulating these ideas. If I find something, it might become part of my dissertation because I joined my current PhD program wanting to study how digital writing is opening up the world of scholarship beyond academia's formerly solid walls. I hope that sociolinguistics helps me see some proof of what I sense is there -- that scholarly writing done online is different, is expected to be different, and is more accessible for this difference. So, stay tuned as I test out the methods here on this blog. Any suggestions you have for writings that I should look at are most appreciated!