The Linguistics of the Internet - Why online language matters

Kingsley Street, Acton, ACT 2601
Thursday 29 November 2018
18:30pm - 20:00pm

Hosted by The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

Linguistics as a field traditionally treats spoken language as its primary area of inquiry. Unscripted, face-to-face spoken or signed conversations are thought to be where we tap into our linguistic intuitions most deeply, untouched by editing or prescriptive grammatical advice. In this public lecture, blogger, podcaster and linguistic communicator extraordinaire Gretchen McCulloch will show why we should expand the domain of investigation to informal written language - the sort found in text messages and social media posts. In doing so, we can answer some longstanding linguistic questions, such as where to draw the boundaries on dialect maps.  We can also ask new ones, such as how people are using emoji and punctuation to give writing a sense of gesture and tone of voice. 

Gretchen McCulloch is an internet linguist who explores the language of the internet, for the people of the internet. She is writing a book in defence of internet language which is coming out in mid-2019. She is the co-creator of ‘Lingthusiasm’, a podcast that’s enthusiastic about linguistics. Gretchen McCulloch holds a Master’s in Linguistics from McGill University and is interested in bridging the gap between linguistics and the general public including through media, #lingwiki Wikipedia editathons, and her blog All Things Linguistic. When not linguist-ing, she likes fancy hats, indie ice cream shops and fiction that expands her horizons.

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