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"Anyway, staraus ne sidet doma." : An explorative study of the Russian language in sms.

Author

  • Richard Hylerstedt

Summary, in English

This thesis aims to explore how the Russian language is used in text messaging on mobile phones. The focus of my work is strictly linguistic, and does not involve analysis of content or context. Within the linguistic area I have studied various aspects, for example orthography, reductions and style. I have gathered a corpus database consisting of 272 sms, donated by a group of Russians (mostly students in their early 20s). I am using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodology to analyse the corpus and illustrate my findings. Brevity, symbols, omissions, non-standard spelling and informality are all features of sms language found in previous studies, and I have found these to be present in my corpus as well. The clearest tendency I have observed from my corpus is that Russian displays the same characteristics as other languages, but not to the same extent. I have found that Russians do not stray far from proper orthography in their messages and that some shortening strategies, such as consonant writing, are virtually inexistent. Another key feature, when looking at the corpus, is the widespread use of the Latin alphabet. People write their messages with Latin letters using different systems of transliteration, with a varying degree of ‘officialness’ and consequence. Possible reasons why Russian messages are more conservative include the relatively free structure of the language and the lesser exposure of Russian people to Western culture.

Department/s

Publishing year

2009

Language

English

Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree

Topic

  • Languages and Literatures

Keywords

  • Russian
  • sms
  • technology mediated communication
  • orthography
  • transliteration
  • slang
  • youth language

Supervisor

  • Anastasia Karlsson (researcher)