1st Edition

The Linguistics of Social Media An Introduction

By Andreea S. Calude Copyright 2024
    250 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Also available as eBook on:

    This accessible textbook introduces concepts and frameworks from linguistics and uses them in the analysis of language on social media. Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics and with examples drawn from 12 different social media platforms, including TikTok, Twitter (the book was written prior to the X rebrand), Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, The Linguistics of Social Media: An Introduction provides the tools to unpick how language is used to portray a particular identity, to persuade, to inform, to amuse and entertain, to vent and to complain.

    Analysing the language of social media highlights the strategies which operate in the messages and posts found on such platforms. Together, these strategies involve a wide variety of language registers, creativity and language play and a wealth of linguistic innovation. By evidencing the many nuanced ways in which people are engaging with social media, this book demonstrates how users of social media are linguistically savvy, strategic and skilled in navigating different genres and registers online.

    The book is divided into ten chapters, each comprising two parts: Part 1 introduces key linguistic theory and Part 2 consists of case studies with examples from different social media platforms to demonstrate a particular discourse purpose. Each chapter ends with a summary, references, suggested further readings and ideas for activities and discussions. There are multiple-choice questions and a glossary available online as support material. This is the essential textbook for all courses on language and social media, linguistics and language and communication courses.

    Lists of illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of internet slang and abbreviations; About this book; 1. Language and social media; 2. Using social media for your purpose: Exploring genre, register and style; 3. Using social media to speak to your tribe: Considering Audience Design, language choice and multilingualism; 4. Using social media to get things done: Analysing speech acts and politeness; 5. Using social media to be yourself: Examining indexing, gender and communities of practice; 6. Using social media to save the world: Theorising metaphor; 7. Using social media to influence public opinion: Surveying texts with Move Analysis and corpus linguistics; 8. Using social media to amuse and entertain: Introducing word-formation and grammatical constructions 9. Using social media to rally for your language: Measuring linguistic vitality and language endangerment; 10. Epilogue: Ethical considerations and language change; Index; Index of languages; Index of social media platforms


    Andreea S. Calude is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Waikato, in New Zealand. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Te Reo (the journal of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand) and author of Questions about Language (Routledge, 2019, edited with Laurie Bauer) and Mysteries of English Grammar (Routledge, 2020, written with Laurie Bauer).

    "Andreea Calude has done an excellent job of explaining fundamental concepts in linguistics. The textbook strikes a perfect balance between theory and practice, drawing on literature from various disciplines to provide a comprehensive characterization of social media practices. Importantly, the book assumes no prior knowledge of linguistics and is written in a manner that is engaging and accessible to students."

    Carmen LeeChinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong