Monday, October 23, 2006


I am not sure what to make of this, but I do know that it's interesting. (esp. "the IM language")

Also - does anyone mind if I change the theme on this bad boy?

again with the poor apostrophe is dying rapidly. what, the death of sentence-final punctuation isn't so important?

re-theme away.
speaking of this sentence final punctuation, i've found that people will use an emoticon as a punctuation. so people are avoiding things like :). showing up at the end of sentences. might have something to do with the aesthetic of the emoticon... what is that period, a pimple?

re-theme is a good idea to celebrate our 1 year anniversary.
true that - i only rarely see a period used with an emoticon, and even then it comes pre-emoticon. question marks and ellipses i see in the same place.

yeah, lame. :)
that sounds fun... ;)
And where are YOU going?? :p

that being said, i think i'd see emoticons as more distinct from punctuation rather than a replacement, since word-final punctuation is just dropping out in some styles anyway due to redundancy (from visual line breaks, other question-marking cues, etc), maybe.
So this thread made me curious, and I did a quick scan through my email outbox. It seems I generally add the emoticon after punctuation, although I did find a few instances (all from 2+ years ago) of email where I used an emoticon in sentence-final position and no punctuation. I don't think I've ever put the punctuation after the emoticon, but I did find an email from a friend who did that, and it does look weird. I also had emails from others who used an emoticon sans punctuation. A quick scan through two of the chat transcripts from my dissertation data reveals that most of the tme emoticons were placed sentence-final, no punctuation, with a few instances (and all by the same 2 people) of sentence-final, post-punctuation. But as has been mentioned already, I don't get the sense that the emoticons replace the punctuation as much as they add a specific tone or valence to the message.

I also have one turn which consists of this (only):
How would you "read" that in your studio, Iorio?
i would say that's definitely one of those "non-emotion bearing" emoticons. mime posted a bunch down below somewhere. like the one for 'fishing'.

so this one is definitely some poor chap that broke his right arm and is asking a question with his left arm. perhaps he's asking "can i have a little help here. you see that my arm is broken"...

as far as the pitch study, i'd have to limit the study to those emoticons that bear emotion. but it would be cool to see how they're read by japanese speakers, given that they have so many of the non-emotion bearing variety
so, from a conversation analytic standpoint, what does the good doctor markman have to say about singular turns consisting of emoticons or punctuation or similar non-lexical utterances, or to speaker orientation to such turns? :)
Consider it rethemed. I hope you like; if you don't, of course, we can change yet again. Problem: changing templates lost the links and calls, which I should've realized would happen before I did it, so as to preserve them. Alas. Although a few links that we had up here were functionally non-functioning (ie DAOL, Language@Internet), there are probably still a few I forgot - feel free to get in there and add. Same with the conference calls. Also, I'm not sure why I couldn't get the archives/conference calls listed directly below the "links" in the sidebar (there aren't any breaks in the template, from what I can tell). But I couldn't. So. If anyone can fix that...word.

PS. I think Raclaw and I think the same thing about emoticons (mostly), so I think I should just respond: "Yeah, what he said."
I'm going to respond to the emoticons issue, but I have an unrelated question, since we're also discussing the new theme--is there any way to have the date included with the comments? I've noticed that only the time is posted, but since I often end up missing days before I can get a chance to check back, I can never tell how much time has elapsed since the last comment was posted. The comments are clearly not all happening on the same day of the original post, and time only seems like such a weird choice. Is this related to the theme, or is this a blogger issue, does anyone know?
re: page theme-

google has a cached version of the old site that you can just rip the source code from to get all the old links back. i'm not so good with actual coding, so i'll leave the link-moving-upping to someone else.
Ok, so Raclaw asked about "singular turns consisting of emoticons or punctuation or similar non-lexical utterances, or to speaker orientation to such turns"

Well, since turns, in speech or in text-based conversations (chat, IM, SMS, etc) can vary in size, and can consist of one or multiple turn construction units (TCUs), a turn consisting of a single non-lexical utterance could be considered a single TCU turn. The interesting thing, of course, is that emoticons or punctuation as TCUs are unique to text-based conversations, and it may be that they only function as TCUs when used by themselves.
Unfortunately, I only have two examples in my dataset, the one I posted earlier, and an example of a lone ? posted as a turn, although in the case of the ? I think a strong argument can be made for it being the final unit in a multi-post turn (in my diss. I distinguish b/w turns and posts, b/c I found that my team members seemed to do so).

In the case of the example I posted earlier, I think there is some meaning that can be inferred from the turn, based on the context in which it is posted, but it also gets posted at a point where everyone else is in the midst of typing rather long turns, and so it gets no uptake or recognition from anyone else in the group.

So, the good conversation analyst in me says that ultimately we need more data to say anything more concrete, but those are my speculations.
Does anyone else find caches creepy?

I do have something to add to the emoticon discussion, however minor: I mostly use emoticons inside of parentheticals (because for some reason my parentheticals are always the ironic part :) <--- so, see, I never know whether to use a close parenthesis after the emoticon, or just consider it closed with the close parenthesis as part of the emoticon doing double duty.

this looks weird :))
but so does this :) )
but if you don't use one (then you don't know when it ends :) and you might think you're still in the parentheses

I think this also points to the curious habit-formation of whether you make the emoticon facing east or facing west. In North America we generally make it face east, yes? :-) but we could just as easily face it west ( -: and that would also solve my parentheses problem, although the close parenthesis might then be interpreted as a hat (-:)

Any notions of why this might be? I guess this becomes less of an issue at all with the advent and increased use of graphical emoticons, but in most contexts people are still using text (I think!).
Does *anyone* in North America make emoticons west-facing? I hadn't thought about it before, but my first thought was that they were designed to be east-facing b/c here we read left-right (which might also explain why other language communities that do not share the left-right tradition have developed emoticons that face in other directions).

West-facing emoticons just feel weird to me for some reason.

But I share your pain with the parentheses, I think my usual response is to give up on either the parentheses or the emoticon.
i didn't think that north americans made them west-facing either, but I got an email from a new friend that had them west-facing. she admits to "just now getting into this internet language thing though".
in the largely american-canadian community i look at, i see (: and ): every now and then and it does kind of throw me off. i'm not sure why the variation, but it *is* mostly younger speakers using them.

[i just change parentheses to brackets when using emoticons within, by the way ;)]
still makes you look like a newb
stfu, lamer.
Hi all,

One of my students (who is a CMC researcher) uses west-facing emoticons exclusively, and has done so for as long as I've known her (four years). I think she does it just to be different.

I appreciate the discussion about emoticons as turn units, by the way. When I teach speech acts in my computer-mediated discourse analysis course, there is always much discussion as to whether an emoticon can function as a proposition (i.e., a speech-act bearing unit). I adopt the view that if the emoticon constitutes the entire message (in chat) or appears on a separate line (in, say, email), it is a proposition, but if it appears on the same line as text, it (usually) inflects a textual proposition. This is theoretically not a very coherent treatment of emoticons, but it reflects my intuitions. Any ideas as to why it should work this way?
I meant to respond to this earlier, but got caught up in conferences, grading, etc...

In my dissertation, I propose a distinction between the concepts of "turn" and "post" in chat, with the post being one unit of text sent to the server, and a turn conceptualized as a complete thought/idea. It would therefore be possible to have more than one turn in a post, although I think the nature of chat as threaded conversation works against this in pragmatic terms, but it is also possible, and I have data to support this, to have one turn (or thought unit) spread out over multiple posts. There is actually a possible advantage to composing turns in this manner, as it becomes possible to make your thread more visually "dominant," so to speak, and therefore possibly steering the direction of conversation (I should note that this is based on a study of small group chat, where competition for the floor is not an issue).

What this has to do with the issue of emoticons and propositions, perhaps, is that when an emoticon is part of a post that contains additional text, it can be understood as contributing to the meaning of the overall turn (idea unit). However, an emoticon that is itself a post (and I think this could work in an email or other channel) is also the idea or thought, and thus represents a possibly complete turn.

Does this help/make any sense at all?
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