A Fluent Language: Technology and the Refiguring of Orality in Current Forms of Writing

Prof. Parvati Nair,
Mark McGlynn
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This paper examines major alterations in written communications in the present day that accompany the overriding prevalence of email and text messaging. My argument is that more formal and structured uses of language, oriented towards the linear development of agument and forward-moving thought, have given way to increasingly flid forms of communication. In a curious resurgence of past versions of orality, we now find ourselves confronted by forms of written communication that emulate these earlier spoken forms. Thus, rapid exchanges by email and text messaging reveal numerous aspects of language use that were previously relegated to pre-literate times. Chief among these is the reliance on formulae, on memory and on language patterns.

Keywords: Orality, Fluidity, Spaontaneity, Formulae
Stream: Books, Writing and Reading
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Parvati Nair

Professor, School of Modern Languages
Queen Mary, University of London

London, UK

Parvati Nair is Professor of Hispanic Cultural Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research focuses on ethnicity, gender and migration in the Hispanic world and on cultural representations of these issues in film, music and photography. She is the author of Configuring Community: Theories, Narratives and Practices of Community Identities in Contemporary Spain (MHRA, 2004) and Rumbo al norte: inmigración y movimientos culturales entre el Magreb y España (Edicions Bellaterra, 2006) and co-editor of Gender and Spanish Cinema (Berg, 2004). At present, she is writing a book on the photography of Sebastião Salgado, entitled A Different Light (forthcoming in 2008 from Duke University Press).

Mark McGlynn

Director, E-BookArts
London, UK

Mark McGlynn is the Founder and Director of E-BookArts, a venture that seeks to analyse and explore the role of new technologies in the dissemination of books, ideas and knowledge. Current projects include studies on new uses of language, on e-publishing and on the digitalization of printed books. Mark has a special interest in the possibilities presented by new technologies in the area of self-publishing. He teaches Humanities subjects at secondary school level and is currently completing a PhD in Intersubjectivity at the Department of Philosophy, University of Essex.

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