Anonymity and Authenticity on the Web: Towards a new framework in internet onomastics

Saskia Kersten, Netaya Lotze

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Building on our own research (Kersten and Lotze 2018; Kersten and Lotze 2020; Lotze and Kersten (in press); Lotze and Kersten (under review)) as well as other work in this area (Bechar-Israeli 1995; Stommel 2007; Lindholm 2013; Aleksiejuk 2016a, 2016b), this article will discuss the pragmatics of (self-)naming practices online and how they contribute to identity construction and face-work (Bedijs, Held and Maaß 2014; Seargeant and Tagg 2014). Drawing on the data collected, both existing and analysed as part of a wider study of usernames across 14 languages (Schlobinski and Siever 2018a), the use and function of anthroponyms and other names in online contexts are explored. Furthermore, we endeavour to situate both onomastic- and sociolinguistic research in the field of digitally-mediated interaction (DMI) and in the field of pragmatics in general.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Pragmatics
Early online date28 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2021


  • onomastics
  • digitally mediated interaction
  • usernames
  • self-naming
  • identity construction
  • face-work


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