Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-3851
  • E-ISSN: 2542-386X
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This paper investigates multimodal strategies for balancing formality and informality online. The analysis of 300 comment-reply interactions on a recipe sharing site in Japan demonstrates that writers tend to avoid being overly formal or informal in their messages. For example, most comments and replies are written in polite forms but many incorporate some plain forms and colloquial expressions. Linguistic features, however, are not the only way through which the writers manage an appropriate level of formality and informality. The study examines the role of or Japanese-style emoticons for socio-relational work online. Some function locally as cues for interpreting the sentences featuring . All , including those with local functions, work to enhance the social presence of the writers on the screen via pictographic gaze and gestures, which increases the perception of intimate rapport. The findings underscore the importance of a multimodal perspective in examining how people handle social relationships online.


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