Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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The topic of the online communication — university staff cuts — generated divergent and highly emotive views expressed in a variety of verbal actions/social practices ranging from language play to face threatening acts of verbal aggression that showed the potential to escalate into serious interpersonal conflict. Posters’ alignment practices are explored to reveal how interpersonal work in verbal conflict is co-constructed. Analysis of topic development, posters’ stance and shifting targets reveals that participants’ communicative behaviors are not driven exclusively towards resolution, rather to ‘battle it out’ engaging in a variety of verbal actions, playful and aggressive. Actions reflect posters’ highly developed sociopragmatic competence based on their socialization into an argument culture, weaving in and out of sociability, play and aggression, simultaneously reflecting discourse patterns more typically associated with the adversarial discursive behaviors of less experienced language users.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): alignment practices; sociability; verbal aggression; verbal play
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