French text messages

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Over a three-month period (spanning 15 September to 15 December 2011), over 90,000 authentic text messages in French were collected by a group of academics in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. This paper retraces the organisation of the data collection, the elaboration of the sociolinguistic questionnaire that donors were invited to fill out, text message data processing procedures and preliminary results. A shift from individual “isolated” text messages to “conversational” SMS exchanges is then studied, in preparation for a new SMS conversational data collection which is due to take place in the near future. This whole process is important for understanding in-depth interactional practices within contemporary digital textuality and should provide insight for pluri-disciplinary approaches.


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