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

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

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    Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...

    Abstract

    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.


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    Item Type: Article
    Title: The discourse deictics ^ and <-- in a World of Warcraft community
    Status: Published
    Abstract: 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.
    Date: 2012
    Date Type: Publication
    Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Journal or Publication Title: Discourse, Context, and Media
    Volume: 1
    Number: 1
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Page Range: pp. 9-19
    DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.dcm.2012.05.002
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 2211-6958
    Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S...
    Article Type: Research Article
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
    Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2013 17:54
    Last Modified: 17 Jun 2014 12:37

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