Textual Paralanguage and its Implications for Marketing Communications

05/22/2016 ∙ by Andrea Webb Luangrath, et al. ∙ 0

Both face-to-face communication and communication in online environments convey information beyond the actual verbal message. In a traditional face-to-face conversation, paralanguage, or the ancillary meaning- and emotion-laden aspects of speech that are not actual verbal prose, gives contextual information that allows interactors to more appropriately understand the message being conveyed. In this paper, we conceptualize textual paralanguage (TPL), which we define as written manifestations of nonverbal audible, tactile, and visual elements that supplement or replace written language and that can be expressed through words, symbols, images, punctuation, demarcations, or any combination of these elements. We develop a typology of textual paralanguage using data from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We present a conceptual framework of antecedents and consequences of brands' use of textual paralanguage. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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