Spoken and Written Discourse in Online Interactions: A Multimodal Approach (Hardback) book cover

Spoken and Written Discourse in Online Interactions

A Multimodal Approach

By Maria Grazia Sindoni

© 2013 – Routledge

240 pages | 47 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138922853
pub: 2015-07-06
Hardback: 9780415523165
pub: 2013-05-21
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203587935
pub: 2014-04-24
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Winner of the AIA Book Prize for a research monograph in the field of English Language and Linguistics (2016)

Common patterns of interactions are altered in the digital world and new patterns of communication have emerged, challenging previous notions of what communication actually is in the contemporary age. Online configurations of interaction, such as video chats, blogging, and social networking practices demand profound rethinking of the categories of linguistic analysis, given the blurring of traditional distinctions between oral and written discourse in digital texts. This volume reconsiders underlying linguistic and semiotic frameworks of analysis of spoken and written discourse in the light of the new paradigms of online communication, in keeping with a multimodal corpus linguistics theoretical framework.

Typical modes of online interaction encompass speech, writing, gesture, movement, gaze, and social distance. This is nothing new, but here Sindoni asserts that all these modes are integrated in unprecedented ways, enacting new interactional patterns and new systems of interpretation among web users. These "non verbal" modes have been sidelined by mainstream linguistics, whereas accounting for the complexity of new genres and making sense of their educational impact is high on this volume’ s agenda. Sindoni analyzes other new phenomena, ranging from the intimate sphere (i.e. video chats, personal blogs or journals on social networking websites) to the public arena (i.e. global-scale transmission of information and knowledge in public blogs or media-sharing communities), shedding light on the rapidly changing global web scenario.


"Sindoni has made a significant contribution to the application of a multimodal approach to understanding the nature of spoken and written discourse in online interactions by developing a new methodology for the collection and analysis of digital, visual and video data in digital environments within social research" - The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language

"Sindoni's volume […] provides a substantial example of how to integrate perpectives that are commonly considered as divergent, with the ultimate goal of studying a complex phenomenon such as digital textuality" - Ilaria Moschini in LEA

"Sindoni’s solid and reasoned approach provides scope for implementing and adapting her methodologies and frameworks to new and related texts. Overall, the volume is rich in ideas and inspiring in terms of proposed theoretical and analytical frameworks based on solid data collection and analysis." - Junyu Zhang and Wendy L. Bowcher, Sun Yat-sen University, China in Learning, Media, and Technology

"The comprehensive and insightful overview of the orality–literacy debate in the computer-mediated context recommends it to CMC scholars and students. The tabulated lists of features are especially handy as a concise reference source. The combination of qualitative and quantitative study and the different data sets provide for a varied perspective that fits well into the frame of the Routledge series." - Daria Dayter, University of Bayreuth, Discourse Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Spoken and written discourse in the digital age 2. Spontaneous web-based video interactions 3. Writing out into the abyss: polymorphic blogEng 4. Interacting on a global scale. Speech and writing in You Tube comments Conclusions

About the Author

Maria Grazia Sindoni is Assistant Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Messina, Italy.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Multimodality

Edited by Kay O'Halloran, Routledge Studies in Multimodality aims to advance knowledge of multimodal resources such as language, visual images, gesture, action, music, sound, 3-D artefacts, architecture and space, as well as the ways these resources integrate to create meaning in multimodal objects and events.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General