This article focuses on four methodological issues which raise challenges for sociolinguists working with online data: (1) ethics; (2) multimodality; (3) mixed methodologies and the relationship between online and offline settings; and (4) web corpora and annotation. While there are currently numerous publications dealing with questions of ethics, data and methodology from within communication studies and social scientific research more generally, there are only a handful of publications which specifically focus on empirical linguistic research. In addition to delineating the diversity of computer-mediated data, in the course of the article we review each of these methodological issues in turn, thereby discussing key terminology and reviewing relevant literature.
- Computer-mediated communication
- Web corpora