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The Multilingual InternetLanguage, Culture, and Communication Online$
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Brenda Danet and Susan C. Herring

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304794.001.0001

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The Multilingual and Multiorthographic Taiwan-Based Internet

The Multilingual and Multiorthographic Taiwan-Based Internet

Creative Uses of Writing Systems on College-Affilated BBSs

Chapter:
(p.64) 3 The Multilingual and Multiorthographic Taiwan-Based Internet
Source:
The Multilingual Internet
Author(s):

Hsi-Yao Su

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304794.003.0003

This chapter investigates creative uses of writing systems on the electronic bulletin boards (BBSs) of two college student organizations in Taipei, Taiwan. Data were collected from postings on bulletin boards and semi-structured interviews with members of the student organizations and it was analyzed using qualitative and ethnographic methods. Four popular creative uses of writing systems are identified and discussed: the rendering in Chinese characters of the sounds of English, Taiwanese, and Taiwanese-accented Mandarin, and the recycling of a transliteration alphabet used in elementary education. It is argued that these practices are enabled by the written nature of the Internet, the orthographic systems available in the society, and the multilingual situation in Taiwan, and that everyday meanings associated with the writing systems and languages are appropriated and reproduced through online practice, resulting in a unique mode of communication.

Keywords:   Chinese, code switching, Mandarin, multilingualism, orthography, playfulness, Taiwanese, transliteration, writing systems

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