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The Speech Acts of Virtual Academic Debating on Facebook

Hjalmar Punla Hernandez

Date of publication:

December 31, 2016

Research traditions in sociolinguistics are provided with new empirical trajectories by computer-mediated communication (Androutsopoulos, 2006). Grounded on the speech acts framework, this study investigated the speech acts of virtual academic debating on Facebook as online speech community. It sought to answer these questions: (1) What speech acts emerge in virtual academic debating on Facebook in terms of locutions, illocutions, and perlocutions?; and (2) What merits and/or complexities does virtual academic debating on Facebook reveal towards the participants?. Ten freshman tertiary level students, selected through purposive sampling, participated in the study. Academic debate speeches served as primary sources of data which were coded. Accordingly, all speech acts transpired in academic debating on Facebook. New locutionary, illocutionary, and perlocutionary acts also developed. As it is both meritorious and complex, the study therefore asserts the positive affordance of speech acts of virtual academic debating. Further speech acts studies in the context of CMC should be innovated focusing on other aspects such as different genres or devising a speech acts model of virtual academic debating.

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