Computer-Mediated Communication SIG



In the past three decades, computer networks and especially the internet have brought forth new and emerging genres of interpersonal communication (computer-mediated communication, henceforth “CMC”). Even though there's been a lot of research on CMC genres and on language use on the internet in linguistics and social sciences as well as in the field of natural language processing, there are still no common standards for the representation and annotation of these new forms of communication and their structural and linguistic peculiarities. Being able to represent CMC data on the basis of an encoding framework such as the TEI which is broadly acknowledged within the field of digital humanities will allow for an interchange of data between research groups and for building interoperable CMC corpora for different languages

Scope and Tasks

This special interest group is elaborating on suggestions for adapting the TEI guidelines to the representation of genres of computer-mediated communication (CMC). The focus of the group's work is on (but not limited to) tasks such as:

  • modelling user contributions (posts) to written CMC dialogues (which share features both with written discourse and with spoken utterances);
  • modelling CMC document structures (“CMC macrostructures” – e.g., forum threads, wiki talk pages, chat logfiles, Twitter timelines etc.);
  • annotating linguistic features within user posts (“CMC microstructures” – elements such as emoticons, addressing terms, hashtags; quotes from prior posts; etc.);
  • representing linked data and media objects connected with/embedded in CMC discourse;
  • metadata schemata for the description of CMC resources;
  • developing perspectives for the representation of discourse in multimodal CMC environments in which the participants in one interaction space combine a variety of modalities from written, spoken and non-verbal modes.


Michael Beißwenger, TU Dortmund University

Wiki space and mailing lists

For exchange on the issues and tasks listed above, the SIG uses the talk pages in the TEI wiki and a mailing list.

Visit the SIG's space in the TEI wiki.

Mailing list: (For subscription please visit


Meetings and panels of the SIG have been held in Rome (2013), Dortmund (2014) and Rome (2014). Activities of the SIG in 2015 include a panel and SIG meeting at the TEI-MM 2015 in Lyon and a special topic panel at the International Research Days on CMC and Social Media Corpora in Rennes.

A documentation of the work and activities of the SIG can be found in the SIG space of the TEI wiki.

Last recorded change to this page: 2015-09-28  •  For corrections or updates, contact