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Within each chat room, a maximum of 9 participants can join at any one time.
On each participants computer screen, there are windows for the main program menu, the chat dialog, the menu showing a video image of each chat room participant, and the participants own video image.
Due to the logistical difficulties of obtaining consent from each chat room participant, it was decided instead to obtain permission from the chat room owner, that is, the person who established and maintains the chat room.
Permission was granted on the condition that the chat room and its participants remain anonymous; therefore, there will be no further discussion of the IVC platform, the chat room per se, or identities or descriptions of the participants.
With the rapid development of computer technology and the Internet over the past decade, language researchers have begun to study the area of computer-mediated communication (CMC).
The earliest studies in this area looked at the language of e-mail, focusing on the structural and textual features of e-mail messages in first language (L1) settings (see Crystal, 2001, for a review) and in second language (L2) settings (Warschauer, 1995; Hartford & Bardovi-Harlig, 1996; Inglis, 1998; Gaines, 1999).
While these researchers were interested in the text-linguistic resources that members employed in IRC openings, they also seem to have been equally interested in the technological features of the IRC program that regulate openings, and the ways in which members utilized these features in conjunction with their text-linguistic resources to negotiate entries.
Of additional relevance to the current study is a paper by Surratt (1996) that looked into the socialization of participants into online communities, including IRC communities.
The particular chat room from which the data comes is located within the adults only section of the IVC platform.
Specifically, this study examines how new members negotiate entry with current chat room participants into ongoing chat sessions.
In doing so, this study examines factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful entry into IVC.
The theoretical framework of this study is centered in Linells theory of understanding and misunderstanding in discourse.
Additionally, the study draws on Coupland et al.s integrative model of levels of analysis of miscommunication (1991, pp.