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The impact of non-standard language on the perceived credibility and usefulness of Facebook reviews : a closer look at old and new vernacular features

Mathias Seghers (UGent)
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Abstract
We investigate the impact of deviations from Standard Dutch in the form of old (e.g. tussentaal) and new (e.g. chatspeak and emoji) vernacular features (cf. Androutsopoulos 2011, Vandekerckhove 2017) on consumer perceptions of the credibility and usefulness of Facebook reviews in a 2 (positive, negative) x 2 (old vernacular features or not) x 2 (new vernacular features or not) between-subjects experiment with 483 Flemish Facebook users. Additionally, we probe into our respondents’ attitudes towards these non-standard features in this communicative setting. The results show that the use of old vernacular features is associated with slightly higher message credibility ratings (compared to strict adherence to Standard Dutch), although these features are evaluated fairly negatively. In terms of perceived usefulness, no difference was found between Standard Dutch reviews and reviews that contain old or new vernacular features, though ratings were lower when both types of features occurred simultaneously. While the use of Standard Dutch is evaluated positively and generally associated with the highest credibility and usefulness ratings, there does seem to be a certain tolerance towards non-standard language, especially new vernacular features. The review author’s credibility predominantly seems to depend on other consumers’ perceptions of their personality (in terms of prestige, dynamism and integrity), which are not significantly influenced by the use of non-standard language features. Our findings suggest that Standard Dutch is the norm in this communicative context, but the expression of one’s creativity and emotions via new vernacular features appears to be acceptable as well. References Androutsopoulos, J. (2011). From variation to heteroglossia in the study of computer-mediated discourse. In: C. Thurlow & K. Mroczek (red.), Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford: OUP. Vandekerckhove, R. (2017). Dees is egt zooo nice! Oude en nieuwe vormen van substandaardtaal in online communicatie. In: G. De Sutter (red.) De vele gezichten van het Nederlands in Vlaanderen. Een inleiding tot de variatietaalkunde. Gent: Acco, 290-310.

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Seghers, Mathias. “The Impact of Non-Standard Language on the Perceived Credibility and Usefulness of Facebook Reviews : A Closer Look at Old and New Vernacular Features.” Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts, 2021.
APA
Seghers, M. (2021). The impact of non-standard language on the perceived credibility and usefulness of Facebook reviews : a closer look at old and new vernacular features. Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts. Presented at the Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Antwerp, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
Seghers, Mathias. 2021. “The Impact of Non-Standard Language on the Perceived Credibility and Usefulness of Facebook Reviews : A Closer Look at Old and New Vernacular Features.” In Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Seghers, Mathias. 2021. “The Impact of Non-Standard Language on the Perceived Credibility and Usefulness of Facebook Reviews : A Closer Look at Old and New Vernacular Features.” In Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Seghers M. The impact of non-standard language on the perceived credibility and usefulness of Facebook reviews : a closer look at old and new vernacular features. In: Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts. 2021.
IEEE
[1]
M. Seghers, “The impact of non-standard language on the perceived credibility and usefulness of Facebook reviews : a closer look at old and new vernacular features,” in Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts, Antwerp, Belgium, 2021.
@inproceedings{8741592,
  abstract     = {{We investigate the impact of deviations from Standard Dutch in the form of old (e.g. tussentaal)
and new (e.g. chatspeak and emoji) vernacular features (cf. Androutsopoulos 2011,
Vandekerckhove 2017) on consumer perceptions of the credibility and usefulness of Facebook
reviews in a 2 (positive, negative) x 2 (old vernacular features or not) x 2 (new vernacular
features or not) between-subjects experiment with 483 Flemish Facebook users. Additionally,
we probe into our respondents’ attitudes towards these non-standard features in this
communicative setting. The results show that the use of old vernacular features is associated
with slightly higher message credibility ratings (compared to strict adherence to Standard
Dutch), although these features are evaluated fairly negatively. In terms of perceived
usefulness, no difference was found between Standard Dutch reviews and reviews that contain
old or new vernacular features, though ratings were lower when both types of features
occurred simultaneously. While the use of Standard Dutch is evaluated positively and generally
associated with the highest credibility and usefulness ratings, there does seem to be a certain
tolerance towards non-standard language, especially new vernacular features. The review
author’s credibility predominantly seems to depend on other consumers’ perceptions of their
personality (in terms of prestige, dynamism and integrity), which are not significantly
influenced by the use of non-standard language features. Our findings suggest that Standard
Dutch is the norm in this communicative context, but the expression of one’s creativity and
emotions via new vernacular features appears to be acceptable as well.

References
Androutsopoulos, J. (2011). From variation to heteroglossia in the study of computer-mediated
discourse. In: C. Thurlow & K. Mroczek (red.), Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media.
Oxford: OUP.
Vandekerckhove, R. (2017). Dees is egt zooo nice! Oude en nieuwe vormen van
substandaardtaal in online communicatie. In: G. De Sutter (red.) De vele gezichten van het
Nederlands in Vlaanderen. Een inleiding tot de variatietaalkunde. Gent: Acco, 290-310.}},
  author       = {{Seghers, Mathias}},
  booktitle    = {{Sociolinguistics Circle 2021, Abstracts}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Antwerp, Belgium}},
  title        = {{The impact of non-standard language on the perceived credibility and usefulness of Facebook reviews : a closer look at old and new vernacular features}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}