1887
Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2542-9477
  • E-ISSN: 2542-9485
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Abstract

Abstract

Similar to lexical and grammatical choices, the length of a text is also guided by situational constraints and functional needs. Consequently, texts of different lengths are associated with different communicative functions. This study explores the role of register in the functions which are associated with comment lengths on the social media platform Reddit. Since registers differ in their functional and situational makeup, the same text length may also have different functions in different registers. By analyzing variation in the frequencies of register features across comment lengths in a number of popular subreddits in a large-scale dataset of Reddit comments, I show that the functional associations of text length can differ greatly between subreddits, and that comments of the same length can even have virtually opposite functions in different subreddits. Furthermore, some subregisters are clearly differentiated not only by their feature makeup but also by the length of their comments.

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2022-11-10
2023-02-06
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): functional variation; Reddit; register analysis; social media; text length
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