Playing with language in E-Japan: Old wine in new bottles

Gottlieb, Nanette (2010) Playing with language in E-Japan: Old wine in new bottles. Japanese Studies, 30 3: 393-407. doi:10.1080/10371397.2010.518600

Author Gottlieb, Nanette
Title Playing with language in E-Japan: Old wine in new bottles
Journal name Japanese Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1037-1397
Publication date 2010-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10371397.2010.518600
Volume 30
Issue 3
Start page 393
End page 407
Total pages 15
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Taking as its premise the conceptualisation of the Internet as a virtual public space, this article focuses on the manner in which language play is manifested through the manipulation of linguistic (and particularly orthographic) conventions in informal Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) and in cell phone emails in Japan. The flexibility of the Japanese writing system, with its three official scripts often also combined with Arabic numerals and the Roman alphabet, lends itself very well to ludic use of orthography to create a desired effect. Users therefore play with standard orthographic conventions in cyberspace to an extent not possible for single alphabet users, subverting norms in order to create eye-catching effects which strengthen in-group solidarity through play and in some cases act as markers of subcultural identities. From time to time it is suggested that innovative use of orthography in cyberspace is a product of new electronic technologies. I argue, however, that language play of this kind, far from being new to Japan, builds on an already existing tradition of orthographic creativity facilitated by the nature of the writing system, the only real difference being that the practice has now moved into the much wider public arena of cyberspace.
© 2010 Japanese Studies Association of Australia
Keyword Internet
Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Mon, 07 Mar 2011, 16:08:01 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures