The Discourse of Text Messaging: Analysis of SMS communication

Tagg, Caroline (2012). The Discourse of Text Messaging: Analysis of SMS communication. London: Continuum.


This accessible and readable book adopts various discourse analysis approaches in its investigation of a corpus of over 11,000 text messages sent by an extended network of texters based in Britain. It reveals how there is much more to the discourse of text messaging than unconventional spelling and shows how texters actively and creatively exploit various linguistic resources to perform texted identities. In particular, the book analyses the grammar of text messaging, the use of discourse markers typically associated with spoken interaction, and the most frequently occurring phraseologies in the corpus, as well as the occurrence of creative practices such as repetition and idiom manipulation. Although based around the practices of a localised network, the book places the study in the context of similar texting practices taking place in a range of global contexts. It also considers text messaging as one development in a long line of communicative technologies which have shaped – and will continue to shape – how people interact and the language they use.

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