Welcome to the Multilingual Internet
This introductory chapter reviews research on the language(s) of CMC in a variety of linguistic/sociocultural contexts, focusing on constraints of writing systems; linguistic and discourse features of communication online, with special attention to Japanese and Greek; gender and culture; language choice and code switching; and linguistic diversity on the Internet, compared with linguistic diversity worldwide. Specific issues addressed include how speakers of languages not using the Roman alphabet improvise creative ways to represent their languages online, online language choice in multilingual European contexts, and the status of English vis-à-vis minority languages on the Internet. The eighteen chapters in the book are then described and classified according to the CMC mode(s), linguistic phenomena, and user demographics analyzed in each. The review of literature includes a sampling of publications in European languages.
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