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A sociolinguistic analysis of transnational SMS practices

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Abstract

From the field of the sociolinguistics of globalisation, this article investigates the linguistic features of transnational SMS talk, focusing on the heteroglossic and hybrid multilingual text messaging practices and the ICT-mediated vernacular literacies of a very heterogeneous small group of migrants establishing transnational networks in the outskirts of Barcelona. It shows that migrants employ highly flexible, non-elite <i>linguae francae</i> or &#8220;we-codes&#8221; for successful inter-group communication which are based on heterography, orality, anti-standardness and transidiomaticity. It also explores the social indexicalities of such SMS practices, and claims that, against a highly ideologised discursive regime which classifies them as &#8220;faulty&#8221; or &#8220;deviant&#8221;, transnational migrants&#8217; text messages offer an insight into how these highly mobile citizens attain the necessary degree of social agency to unfold their many transnational identities, re-negotiate their belonging and entitlement to host-society resources, and manage to organise their life trajectories and prospects largely successfully.

References

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