Textese as a dialect: Why texting isn’t destroying literacy
- Textese as a dialect: Why texting isn’t destroying literacy
- Angel, M
- Issue Date
- The widespread use of nonstandard spellings in texts has led many researchers to wonder if Textese is harming people’s literacy abilities. Despite multiple studies claiming to have found a negative correlation between the two, no consensus has been reached, with results varying between studies. This lack of consensus is addressed through critique of Drouin & Driver (2012), which found a negative correlation between Textese usage and literacy abilities. This critique is centered around the primary argument that Textese is a dialect of English. Building upon previous theoretical frameworks of dialects, a definition of a dialect as a heuristic for identifying dialects as separate from languages or other dialects is created: a nonstandard variety of the language that differs from the standard variety of the language on a syntactic, lexical, and phonological/graphemic level. Naturalistic texting data from previous studies is used to show that Textese fits these criteria. This analysis shows how prior studies faltered in their methods by neglecting code-switching and code-mixing between Standard American English and Textese during their literacy abilities examinations. The prior studies in this area imply that one can become less proficient in English by learning a new dialect of the language, so recommendations are made to improve research in this field by incorporating a focus on code-switching in studies.
- Studies in the Linguistic Sciences: Illinois Working Papers
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