Chapter 1.3 25 years later
This chapter presents a study aimed at comparing Internet and pre-Internet text varieties along the dimensions of register variation introduced by Biber (1988). The research uses the recommendations for corpus design set forth by Biber (1993) for the compilation of a representative corpus of online communication, containing texts from webpages, blogs, emails, and Twitter and Facebook messages. The multi-dimensional analysis performed is additive, whereby the dimension scores for the Internet registers are mapped on the existing multidimensional space from Biber (1988). The results indicate that Internet registers share considerable linguistic similarities with registers from the pre-Internet era, yet they also have particular characteristics that set them apart from their extant counterparts. The chapter details these similarities and differences.