The relationship between writing and speech in interactions via internet
In the communicative genres used on the web, the nature of written communication changes: this is where efforts at a multimedia quality that characterise texts in general are at their best. Written communication plays a decreasing role here: what are mainly produced are complex items of writing-image-sound communication; in addition, hypermedia tools make it possible to link such complex items to each other. As opposed to traditional written texts, the recorded written form of computer-mediated communication is less characterised by a high level of being regular, normative, and well-constructed. It is best observable in high-interactivity chat forums and electronic mail texts that the lack of prosodic and paralinguistic tools is made up for by piled-up letters, piled-up punctuation marks, as well as the use of peculiar symbols or characters. Computer-mediated dialogues offer the possibility of immediate response: this is a characteristic feature of direct human communication - except that it goes on in writing in this case. The structure of dialogues carried on via chat forums does not correspond to any known communicative genre: they are less organised than even spontaneous spoken dialogues are and they are rather elliptical in their content: often, all components of macroplanning are totally lacking. Disorganisation is compensated for by the written (static) nature of the texts that makes the course of the dialogue somewhat easier to follow. In sum, certain types of internet texts can be referred to as 'written spoken language'.
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