Have wireless, mobile communication technologies changed the way people talk to one another? What does it mean to be able to speak or write to anyone, anywhere, 24/7/365, and get an immediate response? And what does the current profusion of these technologies mean for the study of language in social life? Do we need to develop new approaches, methodologies and theories? Taking a global perspective, this volume provides readers with a nuanced, ethnographically-informed understanding of mobile communication and sociolinguistics. The text explores a wide range of digital applications, including SMS, email, tweeting, Facebook, YouTube, chatting, blogging, Wikipedia, Second Life and gaming. It raises important questions about the nature of language, the role of multimodality and intertextuality in creating meaning, the realities and consequences of digital linguistic inequality. The formation of virtual communities, ways of online socialising and the performance of the 'self' are explored. Based on a multicultural and multilingual approach, the volume provides a comprehensive and intriguing overview of digital communication for both students and researchers.
Features: an accessible discussion and explanation of various sociolinguistic methodologies and theories as applied to mobile communication; a glossary of relevant terms; global perspective which highlights common trends and practices in mobile communication; extensive original multilingual data and discussion of case studies; and new research insights and innovative interdisciplinary approaches.