Linguistic Changes and Conventions in Netspeak

Schimbări și convenții lingvistice în netspeak

  • Alexandra Monica TOMA, Dr Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, Romania
Keywords: electronically mediated, emoji, netspeak, meme, GIF, linguistic changes, phonetic alteration


This paper presents a synthetic view on the linguistic changes that Romanian undergoes in netspeak and sheds light on the virtual environment conventions that help build meaning in cyberspace. The study goes through all linguistic layers, starting from the use of punctuation, graphical and phonetic alterations to morphosyntactic adaptations, as well as lexical and semantic trends. The pragmatics of the environment is also tackled, by presenting the most important netspeak conventions that combine text and image to generate meaning: emojis, gifs, and memes, and exploring their possible pragmatic functions, as resulted from the current state of the research in the field. The examples presented in the paper are taken from instant messaging applications.