“Chinese Internet Vernacular,” a complex of novel language varieties associated with the Chinese internet, is usually thought to consist of an increasing host of linguistic memes currently or once virally spread. Focusing on the vernacular’s most prominent character—meaning change, this book attempts to account for the different dimensions and aspects that contribute to the memes’ meaning and function variations, based on the quantitative and qualitative data meticulously collected by following and recording the various memes’ diffusions on Chinese social media over four years. Through the discussion of four comprehensive case studies, what we experience as noticeable meaning change throughout a viral meme’s diffusion may in fact be indexical to, under different circumstances, interpersonal communicative effects, collective identities, and community affiliations, as well as larger sociocultural values and ideologies, all of which can be reflexively performed, enacted, and calibrated in social media interactions. With such efforts, this book hopes to do justice to the complexities and dynamics of the “Chinese Internet Vernacular” as a holistic sociolinguistic phenomenon.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Methodological Preliminaries Chapter 3 Meaning change in CIV neologisms: The case of three ‘very X very XX’ phrases Chapter 4 Meaning change in virality and viral diffusion as meaning-making: The case of ‘duang’ Chapter 5 Enregisterment of an innovated phrase: Languaging and identities of Chinese fans of Thai TV Chapter 6 Chinese Internet vernacular (re)defined: Endless spinning of reflexivity: The case of sarcastic Chapter 7 Conclusion References Appendices
Nie Hua obtained his PhD at Tilburg Univeristy in the Netherlands under Professor Jan Blommaert. He is currently a lecturer in the School of Foreign Studies at the China University of Political Science and Law. His academic interests include sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, digital ethnography and new media studies. He has published journal articles and book chapters on topics of language and identity, medical communication, etc. He is currently working on the project of Chinese young people’s cross-linguistic metapragmatic awareness and practices on social media.
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