Dr Michele Zappavigna

Dr Michele Zappavigna

PhD Syd

+61 2 9036 5097
Room 243, Transient Building F12

Michele Zappavigna is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Sydney. Her major research interests are in Electronic Discourse and Social Media. Currently she is working on a corpus-based study of the language of Microblogging. Her book The Discourse of Twitter and Social Media will be published by Continuum in 2011. She also has an ongoing interest in text visualization as a tool to aid discourse analysts.

In her ARC fellowship, Michele works on a project investigating NSW Youth Justice Conferencing, a form of restorative justice, using multimodal discourse analysis.

Dr Zappavigna completed her PhD on language and technology in the School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney in 2007.

Research Interests

  • Systemic theory
  • Functional grammar
  • Development of technology to support discourse analysis
  • Corpus linguistics
  • Discourse analysis in the area of restorative justice
  • Systemic visualisation (visualising linguistic analyses).

Fellowships, grants and awards

  • 2008-2011 Australian Postdoctoral Fellow, on ARC Discovery Project "Enacting Reconciliation: negotiating meaning in youth justice conferencing", with James Martin and Paul Dwyer

Publications 2005-2010

Books

  • Zappavigna, M, (in preparation), The Discourse of Twitter and Social Media. Continuum: London
  • Zappavigna, M, Cloran, C, (eds.) 2008, Bridging Discourses: Proceedings of the 2007 Annual Congress of the Australian Systemic Functional Association. http://www.asfla.org.au/category/asfla2007/

Journal articles

  • Zappavigna, M under review, Ambient Affiliation: A linguistic perspective on Twitter. Journal of New Media and Society.
  • Zappavigna, M, Patrick, J D 2010, Eliciting tacit knowledge about requirement analysis with a Grammar-targeted Interview Method (GIM), European Journal of Information Systems, 19(1), 49-59
  • Martin, J R, Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P G 2009, Negotiating narrative: story structure and identity in youth justice conferencing, [[||Linguistics and the Human Sciences]], 3(2), 221-253

Encylopedia entries

  • Zappavigna, M, Patrick, J, 2005, Tacit Knowledge in Communities of Practice, Encyclopedia of Communities of Practice in Information and Knowledge Management. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Reference, 508-512
  • Zappavigna, M, Patrick, J, 2005, Tacit Knowledge and Discourse Analysis, Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Hershey, PA: Idea Group Reference, 2724-2729

Book chapters

  • Zappavigna, M forthcoming 2011, Visualizing logogenesis: preserving the dynamics of meaning, Semiotic Margins: Meaning in Multimodalites, Continuum, London
  • Caldwell, D L, Zappavigna, M forthcoming 2011, Visualizing multimodal patterning, Semiotic Margins: Meaning in Multimodalites, Continuum, London
  • Martin, J R, Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P G 2010, Negotiating evaluation: story structure and appraisal in youth justice conferencing, Appliable Linguistics, Continuum, London, 44-75
  • Zappavigna, M, Cleirigh, C T, Dwyer, P G, Martin, J R 2010, The coupling of gesture and phonology, New Discourse on Language: Functional Perspectives on Multimodality, Identity, and Affiliation, Continuum Press, London, 219-236
  • Zappavigna, M, Cleirigh, C, Dwyer, P G, Martin, J R 2010, Visualizing appraisal prosody, Appliable Linguistics, Continuum, London, 150-167
  • Martin, J R, Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P G 2009, Negotiating shame: exchange and genre structure in youth justice conferencing, Studies in Applied Linguistics and Language Learning, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 41-72
  • O'Donnell, M, Zappavigna, M, Whitelaw, C 2008, A survey of process type classification over difficult cases, From Language to Multimodality: New Developments in the Study of Ideational Meaning, Equinox, London, 47-64
  • Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P G, Martin, J R 2008, Syndromes of meaning: exploring patterned coupling in a NSW youth justice conference, Questioning Linguistics, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 164-185

Conference proceedings

  • Zappavigna, M 2008, "Just like sort of guilty kind of": the rhetoric of tempered admission in Youth Justice Conferencing, 2007 Annual Congress of the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association: Bridging Discourses, Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association, Wollongong, 1-13
  • Zappavigna, M, Patrick, J D 2005, Eliciting tacit knowledge from spoken discourse about requirements analysis, 7th Australian Conference on Knowledge Management and Intelligent Decision Support - ACKMIDS 2004, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Victoria, 143-160

Conference presentations

  • Zappavigna, M 2009, Enacting reconciliation in NSW Youth Justice Conferencing: Is integrative shaming present? Presented at Towards Restorative Justice: The Challenges, Promises and Processes of a New Paradigm, University of Sydney, December 7-9, 2009
  • Zappavigna, M, and Cleirigh, C 2009, Analysing body language in Youth Justice Conferences. Presented at Towards Restorative Justice: The Challenges, Promises and Processes of a New Paradigm, University of Sydney, December 7-9, 2009
  • Zappavigna, M and Almutiari, B 2009, Modelling and visualising discourse structures. Free Linguistics Conference, University of Sydney, October 10-11, 2009
  • Zappavigna, M 2009, Searchable Talk and Ambient Affiliation: A Linguistic Perspective On Twitter. International Systemic Functional Congress Challenges to Systemic Functional Linguistics: Theory and Practice 14-18 July 2009, Tsinghua University, Beijing
  • Zappavigna, A, Assad, M, Dwyer, P, & Martin, J 2008, In dialogue with new technology: Representing the generic structure of multimodal texts. Paper presented at the International Free Linguistics Conference, 11-12 October 2008, Sydney University, Sydney
  • Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P, & Martin, J 2008, "You tell me, what you're doing does that help our community?": The interplay of exchange structure and gesture in negotiating shame and affiliation in NSW Youth Justice Conferencing. Paper presented at 35th International Systemic Functional Congress, 21-25 July 2008, Macquarie University, Sydney
  • Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P, & Martin, J 2008, Gesture and the Rhythm of Integration in NSW Youth Justice Conferencing. Paper presented at the 2nd Finnish Symposium on Functional Linguistics and Multisemiotic Discourse Analysis, 9-10 June 2008, University of Helsinki, Helsinki
  • Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P, & Martin, J 2008, "Does religion say you can do what you just did?": Modelling interpersonal prosody in NSW Youth Justice Conferencing. Paper presented at the 20th European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference and Workshop 11th - 13th June, 2008, University of Helsinki, Helsinki
  • Zappavigna, M, & Caldwell, D 2008, Visualising Multimodal Patterning. Paper presented at Critical Dimensions in Applied Linguistics July 4-6, 2008, The University of Sydney, Sydney
  • Zappavigna, M, & Assad, M 2007, Annotating and visualising co-instantiation. Semiotic Margins: Reclaiming meaning 10-12 December 2007, Sydney
  • Zappavigna, M, Dwyer, P, & Martin, J 2007, Syndromes of meaning: Exploring patterned coupling in a NSW Youth Justice Conference. International Free Linguistics Conference 6-7 October 2007, Sydney
  • O'Donnell, M, Zappavigna, M, & Whitelaw, C 2005, A survey of process type classification over difficult cases. Paper presented at the European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference & Workshop London 2005

Seminars and invited talks

  • Zappavigna, M 2010, Ambient Affiliation: A Linguistic Perspective On Twitter. CSIRO HAIL Seminar (Exploring Human Factors, Artificial Intelligence, Language Technology), CSIRO, Sydney, 9th February 2010
  • Zappavigna, M 2009, The world is full of #fail tonight: Ambient affiliation on Twitter. Early Career Researcher Showcase University of Sydney, Sydney, 28th September 2010
  • Zappavigna, M 2009, Searchable Talk and Ambient Affiliation: A Linguistic Perspective On Twitter. Sydney SFL Seminar Series, University of Sydney, Sydney, 22nd May 2009
  • Zappavigna, M 2008, Enacting Reconciliation: Negotiating Meaning in Youth Justice Conferencing. Early Career Researcher Showcase University of Sydney, Sydney

Research Projects

Ambient Affilation: the discourses of Microblogging and Social Media

Social media such as Microblogging services and social networking sites are changing the way people interact online and search for information and opinions. This project investigates linguistic patterns in electronic discourse, covering topics such as online evaluative language, internet slang, internet memes and ambient affiliation using a large Twitter corpus (100 million tweets) alongside four specialised case studies.

The project investigates some of the major linguistic patterns found in electronic discourse using the large-scale Twitter corpus, focusing on evaluative language and internet slang (e.g. Noob, pwned, Fail etc.). In addition, specialised corpora are used in following case studies:

  • Internet memes – An investigation of the function of phrasal templates such as "Im in ur [noun A] [Verbing] ur [noun B]" and "In Soviet Russia [subject – object reversal].
  • Internet humour and Fail: "The world is full of #fail tonight" – A study of the meme 'fail' (e.g. epic fail, full of fail, bucket of fail etc.) and bonding through internet humour.
  • Political discourse – A study of evaluative language using a corpus of Tweets containing the term 'Obama' collected in the 24 hours following his election win in the 2009 US presidential elections.
  • Ambient affiliation – An investigation of hashtags (#) used to mark the topic of tweets in a process of 'ambient affiliation' whereby people bond around these user-defined topics.

A theme in each of these studies is 'ambient affiliation': how people use language to share social bonds online. I argue that we are currently witnessing a cultural movement from online conversation to what I term 'searchable talk'. This is online talk where people affiliate by making their discourse findable (e.g. via metadata such as Twitter hashtags) by others holding similar interests.


Enacting Reconciliation: Negotiating Meaning in Youth Justice Conferencing

* ARC Discovery Project with JR Martin and Paul Dwyer

Youth justice conferences, now widely used as an alternative to formal court proceedings, are a highly complex and still emerging genre of legal discourse. This research involves detailed, close-up analysis of the way participants in conferences make meanings and interact through speech, facial expression, movement and other communicative modes, with the aim of achieving reparation for the victim and re-integration for the offender into family and community networks. Previous studies, focusing on the outcomes of conferences, suggest they can reduce many of the harmful consequences of youth crime; this project will help explain exactly how such outcomes are achieved by the participants.

Specifically, we aim to explain:

  1. The intertextual frameworks by means of which conference participants orient themselves in preparation for what is, in the case of most participants, an unfamiliar legal genre;
  2. The stages a conference works through and the degree of variation in how these stages are sequenced and performed;
  3. The nature of empathy which participants negotiate (for example remorse and forgiveness);
  4. The way participants assume, or don't assume, responsibility for their actions;
  5. The way in which meanings - in relation to points 1-4 above - are co-articulated across different modes of communication (i.e. linguistic and paralinguistic systems).


Visualising Discourse

This project explores text visualisation for discourse analysts. Because of the high-dimensional complexity of language, linguists require visualisation tools that can help them to perceive textual patterns difficult to recognise by manual inspection. Techniques that approach the text as a bag of words, clauses, or other kinds of phenomena efface the sequencing of a text unfolding in time and context (Martin, 2008). This project explores text visualisation methods, such as text arcs, stream graphs and animated networks, that preserve the sequencing of a text. We suggest how these methods might be adapted for use by System Functional Linguists and deployed to achieve a synoptic perspective on the text without ignoring logogenesis.

Teaching

Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney

SFL Postgraduate Masterclass ‘Computational tools’ (Semester 1, 2010)
Electronic Discourse (Semester 2, 2009)
Media Discourse (Semester 1, 2009)
Computer Applications in Linguistics (Semester 1, 2008)

School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney

IT systems in the Arts and Humanities (Semester 2, 2007)