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TitelCommunication Forms and Communicative Practices: New Perspectives on Communication Forms, Affordances and What Users Make of Them.
Communication Forms and Communicative Practices: New Perspectives on Communication Forms, Affordances and What Users Make of Them.

With the advent of the so-called New Media, questions about how the (technical) medium shapes communicative artefacts have increasingly been focused on, particularly in the evolving field of Media linguistics (see, e.g., Brock 2013, Dürscheid et al. 2010, Gohl & Schilling 2013, Luginbühl 2014, Schildhauer 2014, Źebrowska 2013).
Among the many concepts suggested in the course of this endeavour, the term communication form, which goes back to the late 1970s (Ermert 1979), has never lost its currency and is still in use today. It is not surprising that the concept has been subject to several attempts at redefining it as part of the analysis of phenomena emerging in new medial environments, and at clarifying its relation to and distinctness from other terms such as medium and genre (see, e.g., Dürscheid 2005). Recently, Holly (2011: 155) defined communication form more dynamically as cultural practice and is followed in doing so by several others (e.g. Meiler 2013). Increasingly, however, the boundaries between several useful concepts are becoming blurred, for instance when genres are also understood as cultural practices (or social action, in Miller’s ([1984]1994) terms).
Following Hutchby (2001), the term affordances as “functional and relational aspects which frame, while not determining, the possibilities for agentic action in relation to an object” (Hutchby 2001: 444) has additionally come into play and been conceptually related to communication form (e.g. Pentzold et al. 2013). Moreover, other terms such as format (Fritz 2013: 456-457), socio-technical format (Herring et al. 2005: 164), mediengattung (Bucher 2010) and software genre (Lomborg 2014: 18) are also used to approach the same or similar issues.

The volume pursues the following aims:
1.We see the need to (re-)clarify the concepts in use and their relations to each other, especially communication form, genre, medium and affordance(s). We therefore invite articles with a pronounced theoretical approach to one or all of these concepts and their interrelations.
2.Another important issue lies in the field of methodology: How can communication forms, affordances etc. be adequately described? Do new communication forms call for innovative methods? How and to what extent can the particularities of new communication forms (e.g. HTML source code) be used fruitfully for text analysis?
3.While the need for clearer concepts and methodology is certainly pressing, new communication forms such as WhatsApp (Dürscheid & Frick 2014) and the communicative practices based on them call for description. Therefore, we also invite empirical studies on a range of new (and old) communication forms and communicative practices.
While the issues laid out here have been approached mainly from a (media)linguistic point of view, contributions from other fields (sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, communication sciences, media theory, social- / media history) are also very welcome.

20 December 2014 Potential contributors are asked to hand in an abstract of ca. 150-300 words (excl. references), which should particularly emphasise how the planned chapter is connected to the key questions of the volume. The preferred language for contributions is English.
Please send your abstracts to both Alexander Brock ( and Peter Schildhauer (

31 January 2015 Notification of acceptance

31 July 2015 Contributors hand in their drafts of approx. 4000 words (12-15 pages, including an abstract). Details on the style sheet will be sent with the notification of acceptance.

The volume will appear in the series Hallesche Sprach- und Textforschung at Peter Lang Verlag.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Brock is associate professor at the English department at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg. Besides his pronounced focus on humour research, he pursues interests in media linguistics with a particular emphasis on the migration of genres. Together with Dr. Annette Schiller, he edits the series Hallesche Sprach- und Textforschung.
Dr. Peter Schildhauer works as research assistant at Martin-Luther-University and as lecturer at Bielefeld University. During his PhD-study on the history of the genre Personal Weblog, he developed a strong interest in media theory and -history as well as text linguistics.

Brock, A. (2013). “On the Corruption of Text Types: The Cases of Comedy and Readers' Commentaries in Online Newspapers.” A. Ammermann et al. (eds.): Facets of Linguistics. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 63-74.
Bucher, H.-J. et al. (2010). “Medienformate: Ausdifferenzierung und Konvergenz: zum Zusammenhang von Medienwandel und Formatwandel.” H.-J. Bucher (ed.): Neue Medien – neue Formate: Ausdifferenzierung und Konvergenz in der Medienkommunikation. Frankfurt am Main [u.a.]: Campus-Verl, 9-38.
Dürscheid, C. (2005). “Medien, Kommunikationsformen, kommunikative Gattungen.” Linguistik online 22 (1), 1-16.
Dürscheid, C. et al. (2010). Wie Jugendliche schreiben: Schreibkompetenz und neue Medien. Berlin: de Gruyter.
Dürscheid, C. & K. Frick (2014). “Keyboard-to-Screen-Kommunikation gestern und heute: SMS und WhatsApp im Vergleich. ” A. Mathias et al. (eds.): Sprachen? Vielfalt! Sprache und Kommunikation in der Gesellschaft und den Medien: Eine Online-Festschrift zum Jubiläum von Peter Schlobinski. Hannover, 149-181.
Ermert, K. (1979). Briefsorten: Untersuchung zu Theorie und Empirie der Textklassifikation. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Fritz, G. (2013). Dynamische Texttheorie. Gießen: Gießener Elektronische Bibliothek.
Gohl, F. & C. Schilling (2013). “What's on Your Mind?’ and Who Do You Want to Tell? Negotiating Collapsed Contexts and Multiple Audiences in Facebook Status Updates.” A. Ammermann et al. (eds.): Facets of Linguistics. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 75-87.
Holly, W. (2011). “Medien, Kommunikationsformen, Textsortenfamilien.” S. Habscheid (ed.): Textsorten, Handlungsmuster, Oberflächen: Linguistische Typologien der Kommunikation. Berlin: de Gruyter, 144-163.
Hutchby, I. (2001). “Technologies, Texts and Affordances.” Sociology 35 (2), 441-456.
Lomborg, S. (2014). Social Media, Social Genres: Making Sense of the Ordinary. New York: Routledge.
Luginbühl, M. (2014). Medienkultur und Medienlinguistik: Komparative Textsortengeschichte(n) der amerikanischen “CBS Evening News” und der Schweizer “Tagesschau”. Bern: Lang.
Meiler, M. (2013). “Kommunikationsformenadressen oder: Prozeduren des Situationsvollzugs am Beispiel von Weblogs.” ZfAL (59), 51-106.
Miller, C. ([1984]1994). „Genre as Social Action.“ A. Freedman & P. Medway (Hrsg.): Genre and the New Rhetoric. London, Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis, 20-37.
Pentzold, C. et al. (2013). “Online-mediale Texte: Kommunikationsformen, Affordancen, Interfaces.” Zeitschrift für germanistische Linguistik 41 (1), 81-101.
Schildhauer, P. (2014). Textsorten im Internet zwischen Wandel und Konstanz: Eine diachrone Untersuchung der Textsorte Personal Weblog. Dissertation. Martin-Luther-Universität, Halle-Wittenberg.
Źebrowska, E. (2013). Text – Bild – Hypertext. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
PersonName: Brock, Alexander [Prof. Dr.] 
Funktion: Ansprechpartner, Herausgeber 
Name: Schildhauer, Peter [Dr.] 
Funktion: Ansprechpartner, Herausgeber 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 
Strasse/Postfach: Dachritzstraße 12 
Postleitzahl: 06099 
Stadt: Halle 
Telefon: 0345/5523526 
SchlüsselbegriffeSprache in den Medien / Medienwissenschaft (Sprache in Massenmedien, Internet und Hypertext, Medienentwicklung); Textlinguistik (Textbegriff, Textgrammatik, Textsorten, Hypertexte, Textsortengeschichte)
Zusätzliches SuchwortKommunikationsform
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