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Sociolinguistics Symposium 19: Language and the City

Sociolinguistics Symposium 19

Freie Universität Berlin | August 21-24, 2012

Programme: accepted abstracts

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Abstract ID: 1286

Part of General Poster Session (Other abstracts in this session)

Social networks and sociolinguistic awareness: the case of Spanish Facebook groups

Authors: Pérez, Aarón; Galindo, Mar
Submitted by: Galindo, Mar (University of Alicante (Spain), Spain)

Since Internet arrived to the daily life of millions of people, it has changed our way of life, its impact being comparable to that of press, automobiles, telegraph or television. On the one hand, Internet has brought new textual and communicative genres such as chats, blogs, email, with an undeniable influence on language (Crystal, 2001). On the other, the net has turned into a great platform for expression and communication, becoming a productive field of research for linguists. As a result,  David Crystal (2011) has suggested the creation of a new trend called Internet Linguistics.
Doubtless, one of the main vehicles for communication in the Internet are the social networks, and among them, Facebook. Thus, our poster presents a study of this social network from a sociolinguistic perspective, since it has proved to be a rich source for sociolinguistic awareness (Requena Santos & Ávila Muñoz, 2002). Indeed, a considerable amount of Facebook groups in Spanish owe their humorous dimension to the arising of sociolinguistic awareness among Internet surfers, who are able to immediately recognize and identify the association between some social and language features. In order to study this phenomenon, we analyzed more than 500 Facebook group pages; especifically, those related to the most productive group in Spanish: “Señoras que…” (women who…). Our study sheds light on the success of these Facebook groups by emphasizing the sociolinguistic basis behind. Furthermore, it constitutes the biggest inventory of language and social features ever done in Spanish. Thus, by highlighting this spontaneous show of sociolinguistic variation in Facebook, our research claims for the investigation of social networks as a wide research field in (socio)linguistics, since it holds the key for communication as understood in contemporary world.

Crystal, David (2001): Language and the Internet. Cambridge, CUP.  
Crystal, David (2011): Internet Linguistics. New York, Routledge.
Requena Santos, Félix & Antonio Manuel Ávila Muñoz (2002): “Redes sociales y sociolingüística”, Estudios de Sociolingüística 3 (1), 71-90.

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