Kaziaba V.V., Barmina D.E. Linguistic Characteristics of the Captions to Internet Posts of English-Speaking Influencers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2022.3.14

Viktoria V. Kaziaba

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of General and Germanic Linguistics, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov

Karla Marksa St, 36, 164505 Severodvinsk, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1777-1712

Dana E. Barmina

Master Student, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Karla Marksa St, 36, 164505 Severodvinsk, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2253-560X


Abstract. The article is devoted to a multidimensional analysis of the linguistic properties of captions, i.e. texts under publications of English-speaking influencers on the Internet. The research is aimed at studying the syntactic, lexical-and-semantic, thematic and graphic features of the verbal component of opinion leaders' posts on the Internet platform. Interest in the verbal output of this category of communicants is due to their authority compared to other users, as well as due to the commercialization of their communication in the absence of special knowledge and qualifications. The factual material includes 2000 captions, which belong to 100 popular opinion leaders in the English-language Internet segment. At the center of the research methodology there are multidirectional critical content analysis, linguo-statistical and corpus methods of data processing, including automated ones, using application programs for SEO-analytics. The results of the captions study reveal their syntactic design mainly in the form of sentences and small narrative texts. A poor, plain and easy-to-follow vocabulary with a lot of inconsequential words makes the influencers' captions understandable and readable for general consumption. The emotional tone of the captions is ambivalent – neutral to a greater degree, or rather positive. The active usage of graphic means (ideograms, iteration, capitalization) is not creative, but only serves as a visual reinforcement and intensification of the transmitted intentions. The disclosure of the topics covered in the captions is superficially conducted. However, the subject matter is wide and focused on representation of impressionistic experiences and routine events in the author's life. This posting strategy is similar to online-diary genre. It allows influencers to make their virtual presence felt on a daily basis, thus, creating minor news hooks, and to engage their readers emotionally, while broadcasting hidden advertising under the guise of personal preferences, tips and recommendations.

Key words: caption, influencer, opinion leader, blogger, social network, Internet communication, Internet linguistics. 

Citation. Kaziaba V.V., Barmina D.E. Linguistic Characteristics of the Captions to Internet Posts of English-Speaking Influencers. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2022, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 176-191. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2022.3.14

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Linguistic Characteristics of the Captions to Internet Posts of English-Speaking Influencers by Kaziaba V.V., Barmina D.E. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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