Linguistik online 15, 3/03

Streiten im Chat

Martin Luginbühl (Zürich)



While arguing in face-to-face communication is rather well investigated, there are almost no analyses on similar sequences of internet relay chats. Users of the IRC often revert to patterns of face-to-face communication, as it is for example shown in works on the phatic communication. But a lot of typical aspects of the modality "arguing" - as interruptions, overlaps, prosodic features etc. - can not be realized in the IRC. In exchange, this communication technology also creates new possibilities that are not available in face-to-face communication. In this article, I would like to ask what the consequences of these circumstances are for sequencies of arguing in the IRC. The main questions are:

Besides these questions concerning the form of sequencies of arguing, also the function of these sequencies shall be analyzed. This question is important, because arguing in the IRC always is arguing in front of an audience and because the possible anonymity can have an influence on their function.


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