Beyond Genre: Closings and Relational Work in Text Messaging

Tereza Spilioti

in Digital Discourse

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795437
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919321 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Beyond Genre: Closings and Relational Work in Text Messaging

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This chapter considers how Greek text-messagers' perceptions of politeness and appropriateness appear to inform the use of closing formulae in their messages. In line with current advances in politeness research, closings are explored not as inherently polite strategies but as interactional accomplishments which may be carried out in line with established norms of interaction and constitute “appropriate (unmarked) behavior” or realized as marked behavior, either positively evaluated (and, thus, polite) or negatively judged (and, thus, impolite or over-polite). The data analysis reveals how relational aspects, such as the participants' in-group relations, their daily interactional routines and perceptions of politeness, impact upon generic expectations in the use of closings in texting. The chapter employs current discursive approaches to politeness to account for an enhanced flexibility in the generic patterns of use, evidenced in participants' shift between asynchronous and synchronous uses of texting.

Keywords: genre; norms; relational work; politeness; SMS; asynchronicity; Greek; blended ethnography

Chapter.  6850 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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