Mark Dang-Anh, Jessica Einspänner & Caja Thimm
Mediatization and Mediality in Social Media: the Discourse System Twitter
The article contributes to the debate about mediatization and the use of language in social media. The theoretical approach evolves from the intersection of linguistics, media and communication studies. While the concept of mediatization describes relations between medial and sociocultural change and the ubiquity of media in everyday life, the concept of mediality sheds light on the inseparability of media and language. From this interdisciplinary perspective, specific practices of media and language use within the microblogging service Twitter were analyzed. Examples from different case studies reveal certain user practices that can be described as formed by ‘moulding forces’ of the medium Twitter without considering technology as determining or symptomatic. Our analysis shows that the use of specific semiotic and functional operators (#, @, RT, http://) establish user practices of creating personal and semantic references and thus constitute Twitter as a multi-referential discourse system.