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Congratulations to Maria Heath

Awarded a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
April 28, 2020

Headshot of Maria HeathCongratulations to Maria Heath, who has been awarded a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship!  The DDF, "gives the University's most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year."   Maria's dissertation project, "Tweeting Out Loud: Typographical Tone of Voice on Social Media," explores the idea that social media users manipulate orthography systematically in order to convey prosody.  Maria explains her project in the following way:


"We currently live in the digital era of humanity, an era defined by innovations in how we communicate with each other. Using digital technology to communicate has changed the form our writing takes, just as the invention of the printing press did. Written language has evolved from a largely static way of recording information into a dynamic, often real-time communication system that has infiltrated almost every aspect of our modern lives. Although traditional writing is a poor representation of spoken language, the increased use of writing for real-time conversations online has necessitated adaptation, re-introducing some of the missing face-to-face cues. My research takes a detailed look at orthography (the writing system and graphic conventions of a language) and how it is used creatively in online communication to convey tone of voice. I aim to provide both a systematic analysis of a foundational issue and novel methodology for future use in the field."


Way to go, Maria!