Call for Papers: "The Multilingual Internet"

Brenda Danet brenda.danet at YALE.EDU
Sat Sep 28 21:58:42 UTC 2002

Call For Papers



Brenda Danet                              Susan Herring
Hebrew University of Jerusalem   Indiana University
    & Yale University                        Bloomington
brenda.danet at                herring at

In today's multilingual, global world, hundreds of millions
of people are communicating on the Internet not only in its
established lingua franca, English, but also in many other
languages. To date, the research literature in English on the
features of computer-mediated communication has focused almost
exclusively on emergent practices in English, neglecting
developments within populations communicating online in other
languages. This is a Call for Papers for a special issue of the
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, a peer-reviewed online
journal. We may also edit a follow-up book on the same theme,
containing a wider selection of papers, with a major publisher.
Papers may relate to instant messaging, private email, postings to
listserv lists and newsgroups, text-only chat, e.g., on IRC or MOOs,
visually enhanced chat, or SMS (short message service) in mobile
phone use.

We invite papers on topics such as:

--The influence of the local language on the use of a medium, e.g.,
the distinctive features of email or chat in languages with specific
font-related requirements (e.g., French, Russian, Hindi, Arabic,
Korean, Chinese).

--Cultural constraints on the use of the medium, e.g., how traditional
requirements for deference in Japanese language and culture are
realized or modified in online communication; Italian non-verbal and
verbal expressivity as realized in typed chat.

--Comparison of the distinctive features of email or chat in two or
more language-culture groups or sub-groups with differing cultural
orientations, e.g., Austrian German versus German German.

--Chat in situations of diglossia--differentiation between spoken and
written languages and dialects (e.g., Moroccan spoken Arabic and how
it is being realized in typed chat).

--Code-switching in bilingual or multilingual online communication.
--The clash between requirements of formality in the letter-writing
tradition in a given language-culture constellation and the trend
toward speech-like patterns in online textual communication.

--Language and play with culture, including play with identity
(e.g., via nicknames).

--A comparison of online communication within the same language-
culture group but in different languages, e.g., Israeli chat in
English versus Hebrew.

--The effects of the English language or global "netspeak" (Crystal,
2001) on email and chat in the local language.

--Online communication in English by non-native speakers, focusing
on language and culture issues.

Submission procedures:

Potential authors should submit a preliminary proposal of 500-1000
words by November 30, 2002 (earlier submissions are encouraged).
The proposal should describe the research question, the data and
methods of analysis, preliminary findings/observations and their
broader significance, selected references, and a tenntative paper title.

Authors whose proposals are accepted will be invited
to submit a full paper of roughly 7,000-10,000 words by April 15,
2003. Since JCMC is an interdisciplinary journal, authors should
plan for papers that will be accessible to non-specialists. If you
have a potentially suitable paper that is already published or
slated for publication elsewhere, we would also like to hear from
you, as it might be possible to republish high quality articles in
the follow-up book.

Questions? Proposal ideas? Please address all correspondence
electronically to both co-editors: Brenda Danet
(brenda.danet at and Susan Herring (herring at

A Web version of this Call for Papers is available at:
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