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Anthropomorphisme et sociolecte des mèmes internet : lolcats et cat-lebrities

Abstract : Animals (mainly cats) have a greater and greater presence online, especially through comical images whose main feature is to be composed of a caption, often split across the image. These captions are to be taken as the cats' utterances. This type of anthropomorphism based on the human interpretation of what those cats may be experiencing (feelings, expressions...) is prevalent online and the word "lolcat" refers both to the animal and the meme. More and more linguists have worked on such issues as the characterization of the idiolect presented in these captions. Some refer to it as quasi-pidgins born online (Lefler, Liberman) and show how this lect is part syntactic, part phonetic twists on spelling, and part creative grammar, thanks to a community of highly engaged internet users who comment and create content on the most important lolcat site, I can has Cheezburger (Miltner, Vaughan and Gawne). In this article, I will draw the limits of these anthropomorphic discourses by linking them to motherese (that is, infant-oriented speech), because of the affective proximity between humans and pet cats. This affection tends to disappear when dealing with famous cats ('cat-lebrities'), whose discourse is solely created by a single source (often, their owners). These cat-lebrities are anthropomorphized through a single discursive ethos.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 3, 2019 - 12:53:23 PM
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Laura Goudet. Anthropomorphisme et sociolecte des mèmes internet : lolcats et cat-lebrities. Babel : Civilisations et sociétés, La Garde : Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines - Université de Toulon et du Var 2016, La Place des animaux dans les sociétés anglophones contemporaines, pp.59-84. ⟨hal-02118780⟩

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