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The discourse deictics ^ and <-- in a World of Warcraft community

Collister, LB (2012) The discourse deictics ^ and <-- in a World of Warcraft community. Discourse, Context and Media, 1 (1). 9 - 19. ISSN 2211-6958

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In the written English variety used in a community of World of Warcraft players, two iconic lexical items created from symbols have undergone semantic change. The words analyzed are ^ and <--, which have shifted from iconic deictic items used for discourse reference to non-iconic epistemic meanings. ^ shifted from a discourse deictic to an affirmative of a previous utterance, and <-- shifted to a self-identifying meaning similar to a pronoun. The existence and evolution of these lexical items are related to the medium in which they were created, as their meanings are associated with a visual-spatial environment created by textual chat in the virtual world. The different meanings of ^ and <-- currently exist in polysemy in the community, and the continuum of meanings are documented using data from natural language use spanning three years. A statistical analysis is performed on the data, and a diachronic change in meaning is found; furthermore, the observed change follows the path of semantic shift processes previously documented in spoken language. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Collister, LBlbcollister@pitt.eduLBC80000-0001-5767-8486
Date: 1 March 2012
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Discourse, Context and Media
Volume: 1
Number: 1
Page Range: 9 - 19
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.dcm.2012.05.002
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 2211-6958
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2013 22:54
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2020 22:55


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