Parlando style, orality and new media. Some remarks from a linguistic point of view

  • Christa Dürscheid
Keywords: Parlando style, orality, writing style, new media, text messaging


The paper starts with a reflection on the terms konzeptionell mündlich («conceptually oral»), medial mündlich(«medially oral»), and gesprochensprachlich («spoken language») by laying out the criteria that characterize texts in the so called parlando style (cf. Sieber, 1998), which is often seen as a defining marker for a new writing style relying on features normally found in spoken language. Then, focusing on text messaging and chat communication, I will question the often found description of text-based communication in the new media (e.g. email, SMS, chat) as «oral» texts represented in the written code and of aligning it with spoken language. I will show that features of a conceptually oral style are frequent in these texts, but that they still cannot be set equal to what Peter Sieber calls parlando style when investigating final papers from highschools. The two levels have to be differentiated diligently and the term orality in the new media should only be used to describe communication forms that are actually oral, such as Internet calls via Skype. In all other cases, and this will be my final argumentation, only the term conceptually oral style is applicable while the expressions orality and parlando should be avoided.

How to Cite
Dürscheid, C. (2011). Parlando style, orality and new media. Some remarks from a linguistic point of view. Swiss Journal of Educational Science, 33(2), 175-190.