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Text messaging language: A comparison of undergraduates’ naturalistic textism use in four consecutive cohorts


Grace, A and Kemp, N, Text messaging language: A comparison of undergraduates' naturalistic textism use in four consecutive cohorts, Writing Systems Research, 7, (2) pp. 220-234. ISSN 1758-6801 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/17586801.2014.898575


Text messaging is by now a ubiquitous form of computer-mediated communication, especially among university students. An increasing body of research has examined the written language used in text messaging, but little or no data exist regarding how the use of non-conventional spellings, or ‘textisms’, may change over time as people adapt their written language to fit with advances in communication technology. This study reports on naturalistic messages gathered in four consecutive years from four cohorts of Australian first-year undergraduates. Textism use (in particular, ‘contractives’ such as for ) decreased during this time period, in step with the use of newer text-entry systems (e.g., predictive software). Compared to males, females used significantly more textisms in general, and more expressive textisms (letters added for expressive intent, such as for ) in particular. Overall, our results suggest that textism use may continue to decrease as abbreviated language loses its practicality in a landscape of improved technology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:texting, textisms, SMS language, university students, mobile phones, communication
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Educational psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Grace, A (Dr Abbie Grace)
UTAS Author:Kemp, N (Associate Professor Nenagh Kemp)
ID Code:98360
Year Published:2015 (online first 2014)
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-02-12
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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