Via corpus-based analysis and experimental research we investigate the presence and impact of non-standard language features (old and new vernacular) in public consumer comments and company responses on social media.
During the first phase, a corpus is compiled to examine the presence and frequency of these non-standard features in the service-oriented interactions between consumers and employees of six companies active on the Flemish market. The second component of this research project entails an experimental study that probes into Flemings' attitudes towards and perceptions of old and new vernacular features, as well as these features' impact on perceived credibility (of both the author and the message), usefulness (of the message) and observers' attitudes towards the focal brand. In the third stage, another experimental study is conducted to explore the effects of a company's non-standard language on perceived corporate credibility, conversational human voice and interactional justice. Finally, in-depth interviews with employees of the focal companies are set up to include the insider perspective as well.