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Searchable Talk


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Hashtags as a semiotic technology 3. The ideational and interpersonal functions of hashtags 4. #WhinyLittleBitch: Evaluative metacommentary 5. #SpicerFacts: The quoted voice and intersubjectivity 6. #YouAreFakeNews: Construing values 7. Ambient affiliation: Sharing social bonds by negotiating and communing around couplings 8. #AlternativeFacts: Censuring and mocking the quoted voice 9. #TinyTrump: Intermodal coupling and visual hashtag memes 10. Conclusion Cast of characters Hashtag glossary Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

How do social media metadata features like hashtags (#) support processes of 'ambient affiliation'? This book undertakes a social semiotic analysis to explore this question, through enacting particular communicative functions on various social media platforms.

About the Author

Michele Zappavigna is a lecturer at the School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales, Australia


This work fits in nicely with recent studies of language on-line, digital literacy, language use in social media, and digital discourse. The book presents an excellent case for using the Appraisal Framework to analyze interaction in social media ... I see a lot of potential for future research analyzing hashtags used on and off line, in fact reading this book has led me to conduct some of my own research on hashtags. Zappavigna's discussion of hashtags as a form of meta-discourse that goes beyond known meanings of metadiscourse, I found particularly inspiring. * LINGUIST List *
A rigorous and technical framework for understanding the social meaning of one of the most iconic linguistic forms of digital communication: the hashtag ... Readers who are tired of the popular trope about how social media is impoverishing our communication will be thrilled by Searchable Talk's meticulous and in-depth linguistic analysis of all the shades of social meaning that hashtags add to our digital communication. * Babel: The Language Magazine *
A valuable and useful account ... Not only does this monograph flesh out Zappavigna's SFL-based approach to the examination of social media communication, it provides the most comprehensive account of hashtags from a social semiotic/SFL perspective that I am aware of, and will be of interest to researchers and research students alike. * Discourse & Communication *
What if the pundits are right? What if the development of the social web is as significant a development in the evolution of our species as the invention of writing? Readers interested in this issue need look no further than Zappavigna's enthralling explorations of social networking - and her account here of the enabling role played by hashtags as ever-more users embark on ever-more search and deploy missions in order to commune. Ambient affiliation has changed the fabric of our social world. Zappavigna shows us how. -- J R Martin, Professor of Linguistics, University of Sydney, Australia
Searchable Talk makes an impressive contribution to the rapidly growing literature on internet communication. Zappavigna writes with equal clarity about the technological and the semiotic aspects of hashtags, and about their role in categorizing information and their role in creating communities of like-minded internet users. As if that is not enough, the focus on Trump hashtags provides a valuable critical edge. -- Theo van Leeuwen. Professor of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark and Emeritus Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Searchable Talk is the first book-length treatment of social media hashtags from a linguistics perspective. Through a wide array of verbal and visual examples, Zappavigna wonderfully shows how hashtags function in real contexts. This is an invaluable source for scholars and students interested in digital communication. #comprehensive #insightful #readable #innovative #fascinating. * Mariza Georgalou, Lecturer in Linguistics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece *
Zappavigna employs her impressive technical knowhow not as an end in itself but to inform an insightful systemic functional analysis of hashtag practices. This book sheds light on the meanings construed by hashtags through processes of intertextuality, (dis)alignment, attribution, evaluation and metacommentary, whilst extending linguistic theory to account for social media discourse * Caroline Tagg, Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language, The Open University, UK *

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