Linguistik online 13, 1/03

Der Chat als Textsorte und/oder als Dialogsorte?

Ernest W. B. Hess-Lüttich / Eva Wilde (Bern)



Until recently, German linguists seemed not very interested in chatting as a type of discourse. Today, sending mails and SMS-messages as well as chatting are common ways of electronic communication and, therefore, new objects of linguistic investigation. The following paper gives a short outline of current research on chatting and, based on material collected by Swiss students, discusses forms and functions of chatting as a new media specific type of discourse somewhere between letter and conversation. What the various forms described have in common are the technical conditions of communication and its specific setting. Chatting is regarded as a hybrid medium between written text and spoken language. This leads to some theoretical and structural consequences for the textual mode of this sort of dialogue. They need further analysis and empirical observation. This applies also to their sociolinguistic aspects of the specific jargon used and their functional aspects of phatic communion comparing chats and everyday conversations.


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