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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 93 | volume XVI | November-December, 2013



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 93November-December, 2013
Essays

Language as Social Action in E-communication

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p. 1
Mira Bekar

Communication via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm problematizes the understanding of language use and language function nowadays. The language surpasses the level of being used just as a system of symbols for establishing communication. In other words, it surpasses the referential function; therefore, the need emerges to approach language at an idiosyncratic level, not only as a system of specific linguistic symbols with universal usage. Various disciplines such as theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, pragmatics, rhetoric, marketing, and communication studies approach the analysis of language by focusing on various concepts which define language. Some of these disciplines analyze language on a word and sentence level, other exceed the sentence level and explore the context, or the quality of argumentation (e.g., rhetoric and commutation studies), while some disciplines examine the relation between the structure of the spoken and written text along with the pragmatic function performed by a certain language structure in a specific local context (e.g., pragmatics and applied linguistics).
     In this paper, I will analyze the relation between language and social action in e-communication along with the interactional problems that emerge in this type of communication, while simultaneously relating it to the theoretical frameworks relevant for the field. This will be done for the purpose of emphasizing the need to approach language as something more complex than a system of signs by which a message is conveyed. This paper is a reminder and a follow-up of the research which analyzes language not as a tool for performing an action, but as a social action itself. Several examples of a relatively new genre - online statuses and text-based chat on social networks, as well as some specific problems, such as misinterpretation of online statuses will be presented. Communication problems may occur due to the fact that social networks allow their users the freedom not to be simultaneously present in front of the computer/phone screens while the communication is taking place—the interactants can respond at their own convenience or can chose not to respond at all.
     Social networks offer specific type of socialization of individuals who comment on both social and personal topics at any time. Because online chat may be performed between two individuals or larger groups, it is important to mention that the speaker meaning can be rooted into some social events; however, the sense of an utterance may vary among the group members. The individual meaning of






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