Monash University

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The nature of prescriptivism and descriptivism online: The case of Reddit and r/badlinguistics

posted on 2018-04-08, 22:51 authored by ALYSSA ANNE SEVERIN
This thesis focuses on online language debates between people displaying different normative language stances on the website Reddit. English speakers on Reddit apply norms both onto language and onto how language should be perceived and are able to do this in different ways. This thesis shows that the different ways in which people enact their normative language stances allow them to express their attitudes about language as well as to establish and maintain communities. Moreover, the nature of their behaviour demonstrates that normative language stances extend beyond our traditional understanding of the prescriptive/descriptive dichotomy of linguistic normativity.


Principal supervisor

Kathryn Burridge

Additional supervisor 1

Louisa Willoughby

Additional supervisor 2

Julie Bradshaw

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Linguistics and Applied Linguistics


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts