TITLE

"B/w U & me": The Functions of Formulaic Language in Interactional Discourse on Twitter

AUTHOR(S)
Dickinson, Paul
PUB. DATE
July 2013
SOURCE
Linguistics Journal;Jul2013, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p7
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Formulaic language, word strings that appear to be mentally stored and retrieved as single units, has recently been receiving considerable research attention. The present study explores the functions of formulaic language in interactional discourse on the Twitter microblogging service. Using Wray's (2008) morpheme equivalent unit (MEU) definition and a diagnostic identification criteria developed by Wray and Namba (2003) instances of formulaic language use were identified in a dataset of the Twitter-mediated interactions of a group of English language teaching (ELT) professionals. Data analysis drawing on prior studies revealed the functions of formulaicity in these interactions. Based on the findings, it is argued that formulaic language performed four main functions: to manipulate situations, to assert individual identity, to assert group identity and to connect the meaning and structure of the discourse. It was also found that users overwhelmingly chose formulaic language over novel constructions to help them achieve their communicative goals. This study contributes to understanding of the crucial role played by formulaic language in communication and may also be of interest to people interested in how language is used to facilitate conversation-style interaction on Twitter.
ACCESSION #
90680644

 

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