Language choice and addressivity strategies in Thai-English social network interactions

Seargeant, Philip; Tagg, Caroline and Ngampramuan, Wipapan (2012). Language choice and addressivity strategies in Thai-English social network interactions. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 16(4) pp. 510–531.



This article analyses the language choices used by a community of native Thai speakers in online communicative encounters. Using data drawn from exchanges from a social network site, the article examines the mixed linguistic repertoires evident in these interactions, alongwith the motivations (both situational and pragmatic) that influence choice of code, script and register, particularly as these are related to issues of addressivity. The data exhibits a great complexity of code-switching into English, despite the speech community being one for which, according to the participants, Thai would be the default choice in face-to-face encounters. In its examination of this data the article has a dual purpose: firstly to provide a descriptive account of this aspect of the use of English online; and secondly to offer an analysis of the strategies of language choice in this particular type of online discourse.

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