Style variation in digital interactions: guests and hotels in Tripadvisor reviews

Variación de estilo en interacciones digitales: huéspedes y hoteles en reseñas TripAdvisor

doxa.comunicación | 31, pp. 361-380 | 361

July-December of 2020

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

How to cite this article:

Hidalgo Downing, R. (2020). Style variation in digital interactions: guests and hotels in Tripadvisor reviews. Doxa Comunicación, 31, pp. 361-380.

https://doi.org/10.31921/doxacom.n31a18

Raquel Hidalgo Downing. She has a PhD. in Hispanic Linguistics and was awarded with Distinction in the Doctoral Programme of the UCM. She is Associate Professor in Linguistics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is Main Researcher of the UCM Group Linguistics, Discourse, and Corpus: technologic and didactic applications. She is currently member of the Research grant Pragmatic variation in the expression of politeness in Spanish and is co-Main Researcher (with Prof. Iglesias Recuero) of the Research Grant I+D+i Processes of face management and (im) politeness: linguistic, discourse and historical perspectives. Professor Hidalgo is co-Director, with Professor Joaquín Garrido Medina, of the collection Linguistics and Communication of the Editorial Complutense. Her lines of research are pragmatics, discourse analysis, the grammar-discourse interface, and applied linguistics to language learning/teaching. She has recently published La competencia pragmática en ELE (M. Regueiro, Semántica y pragmática en ELE. Edinumen, 2020), Márquez-Reiter & Hidalgo Downing, Intercultural Communication in a globalized world (en D. Koike & C. Félix-Brasdefer, Handbook of Spanish Pragmatics, 2020).

Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

rhidalgo@ucm.es

ORCID: 0000-0003-4930-7903

Abstract:

In this article we analyse variation in communicative style that appears in guests’ reviews and hotel responses on Tripadvisor, the popular travel and tourism platform. The aim of the study is to examine style features that appear in guests’ opinions and hotel responses. Although many initial studies in computer-mediated communication identified informality and orality as key features in this type of communication, more recent studies claim the important communicative and linguistic variation that appears in language in CMC, making it impossible to offer an overview of Spanish on the internet, which instead must be observed in situated discourse practices. The analysis of style variation on a corpus composed of reviews and their responses shows that both guests and hotels exhibit traits of adaptability to the medium in order to achieve their communicative goals, but show different and divergent, if not opposed, communication styles, which reflect the users’ social realities and images, and the potential audiences to whom interactions are addressed,

Resumen:

En este trabajo se propone un análisis del estilo comunicativo que aparece en reseñas realizadas por huéspedes de hoteles y sus consi-guientes respuestas, en la popular plataforma de viajes y turismo TripAdvisor. El objetivo es identificar y analizar el conjunto de ras-gos lingüísticos de estilo que aparecen tanto en las opiniones de los usuarios como en las respuestas de los responsables de las empresas hoteleras. Si bien en los inicios de los estudios sobre comunicación mediada por ordenador se identificó un conjunto de rasgos genera-les que podían asociarse típicamente a este tipo de comunicación, especialmente en torno a la oralidad e informalidad, estudios pos-teriores han mostrado la enorme variación que aparece en este tipo de comunicación, por lo que resulta imposible ofrecer una visión general del español en internet, que en cambio ha de situarse en la observación de prácticas discursivas concretas. A partir del análisis de la variación de estilo sobre un corpus de reseñas y respuestas, el estudio muestra que tanto huéspedes como hoteles exhiben rasgos de adaptabilidad al medio para alcanzar sus finalidades comuni-

Received: 29/06/2020 - Accepted: 14/10/2020

Recibido: 29/06/2020 - Aceptado: 14/10/2020