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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines both historical and future perspectives on language and the Internet, and addresses core issues and topics in this broad field, such as online-offline dynamics, the notion of context, and the centrality of writing (or, more broadly, multimodal communication)—traditionally not the main focus of sociolinguistics—as a predominant mode of communication in online environments. Both methodological and theoretical implications of recent socio-technological developments and the introduction of new communicative environments are discussed from the point of view of the study of language. This entails attending to issues such as the conceptualization of the notion of “community” in the context of online interactions, and translocality as one of the default modes of everyday social interaction. Finally, the chapter engages in a discussion on recent approaches to studying (linguistic) complexity in technologically mediated communication (digital humanities and digital ethnography), in particular as regards future directions in this field.

Keywords: Internet, technologically mediated communication, translocality, complexity, digital humanities, digital ethnography

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