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Title: Computer-mediated Greeklish : key linguistic and sociocultural issues
Author: Tseliga, Theodora A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3537 1547
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2003
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Despite the emergence of a multitude of linguistic phenomena with the spread of computer-mediated communication (CMC), research interest has mostly related to English rather than to languages from other national cohorts, such as Greece, a society known for its distinct attachment to language and its symbolic values, and which has recently experienced the spread of CMC. Hence, this study has sought to investigate the linguistic and sociocultural implications of `Greeklish', an untapped area of scholarly research, which denotes the use of the Roman alphabet to transliterate Greek in CMC, hopefully helping to illuminate similar situations outside this context. On the basis of an initial exploratory e-mail survey, Greeklish emerged as a complex phenomenon which pertains mainly to issues such as: its linguistic nature in relation to Greek, the stances towards its use and its transliteration system. The use of the electronic questionnaire proved suitable for this stage but not sufficient to address all the questions brought to the fore. Consequently, a detailed analysis of the linguistic make-up of authentic Greek and Greeklish e-mails in two respective corpora followed, which analysed the distribution of foreign language material, elements of informal register, register markers and the different transliteration patterns. Despite the lack of a very coherent pattern, the use of Greeklish appeared to be more conducive to the activation of devices of simplification, informality and tolerance to linguistic deviance. The analysis of transliteration practices verified previously recognised tendencies towards the 'phonetic' and the `orthographic' orientation. Finally, a more contextualised approach was employed, where 29 Greek e-mail users participated in face-to-face interviews and an online sentence verification experiment. The interviews uncovered Greeklish as a case of `marginal digraphia', a culture-specific code with a functional specification towards informality, defying standardisation and allowing structural and spelling creativity. As for the online experiment, it adduced some initial evidence about the significance of the `visual/orthographic route' in reading of Greek, while, when combining the results from the interview reports and the experimental findings, there appeared an incipient profile of the `orthographic Greeklish user', i. e. the prolific e-mail writer who transliterates Greeklish orthographically and addressesth e phenomenona s linguistically and culturally challenging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available