Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Style and Stance #1: Pondering

For those of you who follow my blog, I am sorry I have been absent. I took off the last few weeks of the summer to rest my brain in anticipation of taking two grad classes this fall. Now, my teaching year started three weeks ago, my grad student year started two weeks ago, and here I am, back on the blog.

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!

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