Language use in social network sites
The influence of orality in the digital writing of Mexican bilinguals
Keywords:digital literacy, orality, bilinguals, writing pedagogy, multilingualism, Facebook
The language used in digital communication has erroneously been considered a simple extension of spoken language. However, research has established that writers in digital environments reshape orthographies to construct identities and audiences and with the help of other social-semiotic resources such as images, sounds, and hyperlinks, they create new meanings (Androutsopoulos, 2015; Knobel and Lankshear, 2008; Mills, 2010). Such research has not thoroughly examined bilingual populations, who employ their often vast repertoire of language varieties to similar ends. The goal of this article is to explore a specific case of how orality influences writing in the digital spaces of members of a social network of Mexican bilinguals. By studying how these bilinguals communicate on Facebook, we can observe how in relationship to the semi-public platform, they create new meanings through linguistically innovative audience-based writing. This practice aids them in maintaining their bilingualism and their bilingual identity.
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