In this study I propose a phraseological approach to examine the highly variable language realizations of microblogging interactions in the academic domain. Specifically, I rely on the concept of “semantic sequence”, which rests on the assumption that patterns are much more consistent in meaning than they are in form, as it can be of help when dealing with texts characterized by greatly diversified lexical and syntactic choices. My analysis of language and discursive resources used by researchers on the microblogging platform Twitter is based on a combination of frequency-based lexical information and semantics and highlights that scholars tend to both share useful information online but also to express their feelings and thoughts. The investigation of tweets labelled (or “hashtagged”) as “academic writing” (#acwri) reveals that posting entries about the writing process can be highly beneficial for researchers as it de-stresses and motivates them, and at the same time makes them feel less lonely in their endeavour. In this regard, the notions of “phatic communion” and “ambient affiliation” can be very useful in order to describe the language and rhetorical resources professionals adopt to create a sentiment of interconnected sociality with the other members of their community of practice.
Academic writing on twitter: how microblogging becomes an empowering tool for researchers / G. Riboni. ((Intervento presentato al convegno LSP research, teaching and translation across languages and cultures tenutosi a Milano nel 2014.