The multilingual and multi-orthographic Taiwan-based Internet: Creative uses of writing systems on college-affiliated BBSs

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24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates creative uses of writing systems on the electronic bulletin boards (BBSs) of two college student organizations in Taipei, Taiwan. Data were collected from postings on bulletin boards and semi-structured interviews with members of the student organizations, and analyzed using qualitative and ethnographic methods. Four popular creative uses of writing systems are identified and discussed: the rendering in Chinese characters of the sounds of English, Taiwanese, and Taiwanese-accented Mandarin, and the recycling of a transliteration alphabet used in elementary education. It is argued that these practices are enabled by the written nature of the Internet, the orthographic systems available in the society, and the multilingual situation in Taiwan, and that the everyday meanings associated with the writing systems and languages are appropriated and reproduced through online practice, resulting in a unique mode of communication in its own right.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov 1

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Bulletin boards
Internet
Students
Recycling
Education
Acoustic waves
Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

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abstract = "This study investigates creative uses of writing systems on the electronic bulletin boards (BBSs) of two college student organizations in Taipei, Taiwan. Data were collected from postings on bulletin boards and semi-structured interviews with members of the student organizations, and analyzed using qualitative and ethnographic methods. Four popular creative uses of writing systems are identified and discussed: the rendering in Chinese characters of the sounds of English, Taiwanese, and Taiwanese-accented Mandarin, and the recycling of a transliteration alphabet used in elementary education. It is argued that these practices are enabled by the written nature of the Internet, the orthographic systems available in the society, and the multilingual situation in Taiwan, and that the everyday meanings associated with the writing systems and languages are appropriated and reproduced through online practice, resulting in a unique mode of communication in its own right.",
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