||With the development of the Internet, various types of social media software have been widely used in daily life. In Taiwan, Line is one of the most prevalent online chatting media used on smartphones. However, little attention has been paid to the issue between Line application and discourse produced via it due to the fact that it is a relatively new social application. Previous studies investigated instant message (IM) such as Microsoft Messenger (MSN), and Yahoo! Messenger (YMSG), whose functions are similar to those of Line. Nevertheless, they mainly focused on young people instead of middle-aged or older people. This thesis aims to investigate zhang-bei wen, which is a discourse type by Taiwanese middle-aged people using Line application. This study analyzes not only the formation of zhang-bei wen but also the indexical relationship between middle-aged people and zhang-bei wen. The methods of analysis draw on several theoretical frameworks. First, Silverstein’s (2003) indexical order is adopted to elucidate the construction of zhang-bei wen. Secondly, Ecerk’s (2008) indexical field is applied to probe into the potential meaning of zhang-bei wen. In addition to verbal meaning, Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2001) descriptive framework of multimodality, comprising representational, interpersonal and compositional meaning, is also used to analyze the meanings of visual expressions.|
The analysis reveals that the social meanings of zhang-bei wen can indexically represent the identity of middle-aged people. The stances and the habitual characteristics conveyed by middle-aged people create micro-contextual discourses, which can be construed as micro-social types because individual social experiences give rise to micro-social discourses (i.e., individual features) and these discourses can be projected to a type of a macro-social nature (i.e., a collective form of discourse). On the other hand, this study suggested that visual meaning within zhang-bei wen may reflect and represent the activity and emotions the addresser is involved in. Therefore, this study demonstrates the representational, interpersonal, and compositional meaning of zhang-bei wen. Besides, how visual meanings enrich the textual meaning is also analyzed in this thesis. By and large, this study aims to find out what relationship exists between middle-aged people and zhang-bei wen, how the link between them can be characterized, and how these social meanings are constructed.