Volume 73, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The development of the Internet has set up a brand new text form, the so-called digital conversations. With computer programmes like MSN Messenger, it is possible to communicate electronically with friends and relatives. These chat conversations contain both oral and literate characteristics; in this sense, the digital texts represent a kind of hybrid language form. To determine the position of the digital texts amongst their oral and written counterparts, it is necessary to create an overview of the stylistic relations between these three contemporary genres. Within the current study, I have compared the usage of the Dutch language within MSN-conversations, e-mails, and transcribed telephone conversations on the basis of several linguistic-stylistic dimensions. It turned out that there were eight of these components on which significant stylistic differences exist between the three modes. An important finding is that e-mails have an informational structure, in contrast to the telephone conversations, that are characterized by a highly involved style; within the digital conversations these two styles are mixed. On two other dimensions, the MSN-conversations distinguish themselves from both the written and oral modes by an increased use of popular or minimising expressions and time references.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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