Have wireless, mobile communication technologies - phones, laptops and tablets - 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. ; This volume provides readers with a nuanced, ethnographically-informed understanding of mobile communication and sociolinguistics. Drawing on examples from across the world, this innovative textbook provides students with accessible explanations of sociolinguistic theories as they apply to the growing field of mobile communication.
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This is not just a superb overview of the field of mobile communications but an innovative intervention in the field; the author offers sophisticated reflection on how major theorists such as Bakhtin and Derrida remain relevant in grappling with space-age communication technology.
Professor Christopher Stroud, Director of the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research, University of the Western Cape
Ana Deumert is Associate Professor in the Linguistics Section, Department of English, University of Cape Town.