Features of Digital African American Language in a Social Network Site
African American language, digital language, literacy, sociolinguistics, nonacademic, Netspeak, online writing, MySpace, social network site
English Language and Literature
This study examines a social network site (SNS) where specific interlocutors communicate by combining aspects of academic American English (AE), digital language (DL), and African American Language (AAL)—creating a digital form of AAL or digital AAL (DAAL). This article describes the features of DAAL in the discursive, online context of MySpace, by analyzing a corpus of DAAL comments (1,494 instances). The use of SNSs affords a space where AAL exists in written form, serving the function of approximating spoken AAL. More interesting, however, is the function that DAAL serves as a text that is visually distinct from AE, emphasizing the orthographic freedom of DAAL on SNSs. By examining how DL and AAL exist and combine in an SNS environment, this research found DAAL to be a robust form of written communication.
Cunningham, Jennifer M. (2014). Features of Digital African American Language in a Social Network Site. Written Communication 31(4), 404-433. doi: 10.1177/0741088314547188 Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.kent.edu/engpubs/3