The effect of digilect on written and spoken communication: A questionnaire study
2013. augusztus 04. vasárnap, 09:00

It is relatively unanimously claimed in both the Hungarian and the international literature that internet communication has specific, genre-independent linguistic properties. The terms used to denote this novel language variety include netspeak, written interactive register, virtual/digital textuality, secondary spoken language, symbolic written language, new spoken language, and virtual written language. The present author uses the term digilect to refer to the language use or language variety of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in the broad sense. Digital communication, due to its wide currency and unavoidability in everyday life, as well as for other reasons, certainly affects non-computer-mediated, traditional written and spoken communication, too. The questionnaire study involving responses given by 647 subjects that is presented here is meant to survey such effects. The main purpose of the study is to explore the interaction between digital communication devices and certain sociological variables (in particular, age and gender); to study the choice of form of communication in terms of partner and situation; to collect some features of digital language use (abbreviations and emoticons); and to document changes in written and spoken communication due to the effect of digital communication. According to the results, the effects of the digital media can be attested primarily at the levels of writing technique and the lexicon.


Keywords: digilect, computer-mediated communication, netlinguistics.