Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Linguistics and Cognitive Science
© 2016 Meridean Shim
This study has two major purposes: (1) to investigate if and how punctuation conventions have been rewritten in text messages to compensate for lack of paralinguistic cues and (2) the sociolinguistic implications of these findings. Data for this study was collected through an online, anonymous questionnaire in which participants gave their judgments about the meanings and function of punctuation used in sample text messages. The results show that punctuation is used to convey differences in meaning in direct and indirect ways and most are dependent on the context. Furthermore, age showed to be a factor in punctuation style and interpretation. The results here challenge the notion that texting is detrimental to one’s literacy skills and is in fact a site of linguistic innovation.
Shim, Meridean, "IIs It Really “Fine”?: An Analysis of the Paralinguistic Function of Punctuation in Text Messages" (2016). Scripps Senior Theses. 831.