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Web Language Neither Can Nor Should Be Ignored

By Author: peter
Total Articles: 191

Since the internet has opened up an important discourse space for < finna >, it has been instrumental in the development and covert acceptance of < finna > by providing a medium free from the prescriptions of white, upper-class usage, a fact underscored by the relative frequency of < finna > in web texts. As stated earlier, my data collection from the internet yielded 51 tokens of < fixing to> and 71 of , the collectable tokens were less than the ca. 100 websites searched for each. However, my search of ca. 100 websites with gave 151 tokens, meaning that despite repetition of texts (which was actually more often the case than with either < fixing to> or , after my collection of 100 websites for , several hundred sites remained.

On the Fourth of July, an American couple awaits the birth of their first child in a private hospital room with a spectacular view overlooking San Francisco. A welcoming committee hands out red, white and blue party hats /and American flags. Far away, in Nacre, Ethiopia, a pregnant woman lies on a bed in a rural maternity ward. The sole doctor on duty, a Chinese woman, is attending to five expectant mothers, all suffering complications; two babies have already died on her shift this night, and another was dead born.

I might mention too that while this study has not focused on speech, there are good indications that [fina] is highly frequent in spoken AAE varieties, and perhaps even more frequent than the non-AAE forms in non-AAE Englishes. For instance, on one of the websites visited for this study, the writer makes the observation regarding the frequency of [fma] read in (11). 11 Sorry for this depressing post, I think the hospital makes me think of things like that alot [sic], that Replica Jaeger-LeCoultre and the insane frequency that black people say the word 'finna'. Thus the internet data and, if the author of the text in (11) is accurate, possibly speech too, show [fina] to be more frequent than non-AAE forms, a fact that indicates its more advanced grammatical age.

Data sources for language inquiry are notoriously problematized within linguistic theory. The advent and use of web text for data collection will surely only complicate the issue. Obviously web language neither can nor should be ignored. And in fact, I hope this paper has shown that data from the web can give us unique perspectives on certain aspects of language use that might not be so obvious in more traditional kinds of sources. In this way, we extend an understanding of the inter section of historical linguistic theory and text worlds. If that has been successful, then the advanced grammatical status for < finna > (e.g. [fina]) is evidenced not only by semantic distribution and formal shape, but also by its very high frequency and broader acceptance in emerging web literacy.

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