Poster Title

Degrammaticalization of ‘@’: How the usage of ‘@’ has changed due to the influence of Twitter

Affiliated Department

Linguistics Program

Keywords

Degrammaticalization, @, grammaticalization, syntactic change, semantic change, unidirectionality

Document Type

Event

Streaming Media

Abstract

Whether or not degrammaticalization is a valid theory is contested within the linguistic community. I present evidence that the theory of degrammaticalization is not only valid, but is actively occurring English, most notably on social media platforms. Degrammaticalization is visible on the social media platform Twitter in the usage of ‘@’. Twitter users have began to use ‘@’ as a verb, even going so far as to conjugate it as it were a typical English verb, @ appears with all of the object pronouns in English, and they appear to use ‘@’ as a verb in a wide variety of situations. I demonstrate the validity of my claim regarding the usage of ‘@’ through the use of compiled data and support from previously published works on degrammaticalization. The analysis and discussion of the data I compiled makes the claim that ‘@’ has undergone, and is undergoing, semantic, pragmatic, and syntactic change. This research intersects with other research supporting degrammaticalization as it provides contemporary examples of the theory of degrammaticalization in action.

Comments

This presentation was part of the Linguistics Program at the Scholars Week 2017 Symposium, held on Wednesday, May 17 at 4:00 p.m. in Bond Hall 217 at Western Washington University.

Rights

Copying of this presentation in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this presentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

video/mp4

 

Degrammaticalization of ‘@’: How the usage of ‘@’ has changed due to the influence of Twitter

Linguistics Program

Whether or not degrammaticalization is a valid theory is contested within the linguistic community. I present evidence that the theory of degrammaticalization is not only valid, but is actively occurring English, most notably on social media platforms. Degrammaticalization is visible on the social media platform Twitter in the usage of ‘@’. Twitter users have began to use ‘@’ as a verb, even going so far as to conjugate it as it were a typical English verb, @ appears with all of the object pronouns in English, and they appear to use ‘@’ as a verb in a wide variety of situations. I demonstrate the validity of my claim regarding the usage of ‘@’ through the use of compiled data and support from previously published works on degrammaticalization. The analysis and discussion of the data I compiled makes the claim that ‘@’ has undergone, and is undergoing, semantic, pragmatic, and syntactic change. This research intersects with other research supporting degrammaticalization as it provides contemporary examples of the theory of degrammaticalization in action.