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|Title:||Typing friendship into being: vocatives in Facebook wall-to-wall conversations|
|Abstract:||Individuals may write themselves, their communities and their friendships into being on social network sites (Sundén 2003) (boyd 2008). That is, they write themselves into being by providing information about themselves in the form of personal profiles; they write their communities into being by setting up groups with which to connect with like-minded people; and they write their friendships into being by displaying contact lists and through continual interaction with their friends online. Since communication is key to the upkeep of friendship ties, a linguistic perspective has the potential to expand on the idea of writing friendship into being through a consideration of the ‘writing’ itself. The Facebook wall-to-wall conversation is a new means of computer-mediated communication and may be conceptualised as a way of typing friendship into being. Facebook ‘Friends’ write on each other’s ‘profile walls’ in turn, and in doing so they augment the interpersonal connection between them that originated offline by undertaking strategies of positive face enhancement in tandem. As semi-synchronous, semi-public dialogues in plain text, the wall-to-wall conversation is exclusive to two Facebook users as active participants, but visible to a special public of their mutual Facebook Friends. This thesis considers the type, semantic form, sentence position, orthography and pragmatic function of vocatives in a corpus of Facebook wall-to-wall conversations engaged in by students from the University of Sydney, Australia and from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The vocatives are examined qualitatively through a lens of (Im)Politeness theory, drawing from Brown and Levinson (1987), Kerbrat-Orecchioni (1992; 2002) and Culpeper (1996; 2008) with a focus on positive politeness, mock deference and mock impoliteness. The joint engagement in creativity, playfulness and humour with regards to the formation and exchange of vocatives is attested in both the Australian English and the Swiss French corpora.|
|Description:||Supervisors: Caroline Lipovsky (French Studies), Jane Simpson (Linguistics)|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses|
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