Discursive Functions of Coinages and Abbreviations in Nairaland Online Community

Rotimi Taiwo, David Dontele

Abstract


This study applies Fairclough’s approach to Critical Discourse Analysis to the investigation of coinages and abbreviations in online discussion boards. With data from sections of a popular Nigerian online forum, Nairaland Forum, findings showed that Internet users have become key social actors in the creation and distributions of coinages and abbreviations, which serve as collective symbols for their interactions online. These coinages and abbreviations include lexical blends and nonce words, derived neologisms, slang and acronyms, all of which construct the social understanding of the social structure in which they operate. The study concludes that the linguistic novelty being created by the online community is a means of expressing the multicultural consciousness and multiple linguistic and social identities of these internet users.

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