Slexipedia: Word Formation and Social Use

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ashyviper
Words 11436
Pages 46
Slexipedia: Word Formation and Social Use

3.1 Introduction

In his publication A Glossary of Netspeak and Textspeak David Crystal blended the two words lexiconand encyclopaediato form lexipedia, a word he used to describe the nature and purpose of his publication as "a cross between a dictionary (lexicon) and an encyclopaedia" (Crystal, 2004: vii). For each term in the glossary there is information one would look up in a dictionary, and the sort of knowledge one would expect to find in an encyclopaedia, such as an etymology of the entry and a hint of its sociolinguistic use. For example:

newbie A newcomer to a chatgroup or virtual-world environment, especially one who has not yet learned the way to behave when participating in the dialogue. >>chatgroup; netiquette; virtual world (Crystal, 2004: 79)

The coinage of the neologism Slexipedia compounds the acronym SL with lexipedia to provide a term to describe the Second Life-specific lexis in my corpus. In addition to providing a SL glossary according to Crystal's method (Appendix X), this chapter investigates the creative and innovative word-formation processes of SL English and Arabic vocabulary by its residents. Since use of vocabulary reflects identity (Crystal, 2001; Benwell and Stokoe, 2006; Boellstorff, 2008), the final concern of this chapter is the manner in which these SL terms are used in conversational interaction inworld, to reflect the social purposes and circumstances in which these words are utilized. Forming a coherent slexipedia will provide more insight for forming an account of SL identity, or Slidentity.

It is argued by myself that communication in SL shares many attributes with internet chat, as they are both forms of CMC. However, with the influence of the virtual surroundings having graphic qualities, and the capability of communicating using both verbal and non-verbal…...

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