*Sings myself happy birthday*: Externalizing and reassuming self in virtual performatives

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Tuija Virtanen
Publisher: John Benjamins
Place: Amsterdam
Publication year: 2018
Journal: International Journal of Language and Culture
Journal acronym: ijolc
Volume number: 5
Issue number: 2
Start page: 248
End page: 270


This paper explores linguistic egocentrism in English through the lens
of virtual performatives, i.e. self-referential stand-alone predications
in the third person singular present tense through which users perform
virtual action or emotion. The focus is on microblogging for apparently
recreational purposes, where visibility, rather than reciprocity, must
be a primary concern. Findings show that the common or garden virtual
performative consistently relying on an externalized self occasionally
turns into a variant where the self is subsequently reassumed, and then
again possibly re-externalized within the same construction. The
syntactic and discursive systematicity manifest in these constructions
forbids treating them as erroneous. The paper discusses the benefits of
this way of externalizing and optionally reassuming self, through
fluctuation between third-person and first-person references, and
touches upon metapragmatic awareness and logophoricity. In creating
digital culture, virtual performatives point to users’ pragmatic
adaptation of their public, social self to environments manifesting a
high degree of context collapse.


externalized self, microblogging, pronouns, reassumed self, virtual performative

Last updated on 2020-26-09 at 02:34

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