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Email – SMS – MMS

Frehner, Carmen

Email – SMS – MMS

The Linguistic Creativity of Asynchronous Discourse in the New Media Age

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 58

Year of Publication: 2008

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 294 pp., num. fig. and tables
ISBN 978-3-03911-451-1 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.420 kg, 0.926 lbs

available Softcover
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Book synopsis

Are email and SMS forms of writing or speech? This question cannot be answered easily because their registers are hybrid; they make use of both orality and literacy. This book offers an accurate placement of emails and text messages along the written/spoken continuum. Emails and text messages are also compared to letters and phone calls while a closer comparison of SMS and telegrams shows how far text messaging can be regarded as a renaissance of telegrams. Attention is further paid to multimedia messaging and questions concerning the proportion of image to text, picture categories as well as MMS dialogues are approached. The book finally comments on linguistic changes and deals with the German language community’s concern with regard to the increasing use of Anglicisms.


Contents: Private email and text messages (SMS): linguistic features of the involved written but conceptually oral language; syntactic and lexical reductions; spelling tendencies and rules; emoticons – A comparison between single and linked SMS as well as between SMS and telegrams – A discussion of Koch and Oesterreicher’s model; email and SMS dialogues; email and text messages compared to letter mail and telephone conversation; gratification and media richness theory – MMS: proportion of image to text, picture categories, MMS dialogues – Linguistic changes: new trends - old features; Anglicisms in (Swiss-)German emails and text messages.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Carmen Frehner (born 1978) studied English and German at the University of Zurich and Aberdeen (Scotland). She graduated in 2005 and received her doctor’s degree in English linguistics in 2006. The author currently works as an English and German teacher in Zurich.


«Die Studie von Carmen Frehner überzeugt durch die Formulierung und Fokussierung der Forschungsfrage, die Auswahl und Umsetzung der Methoden und die Präzision und Vorsicht bei der Argumentation.» (Oliver Bendel, Zeitschrift für Rezensionen zur germanistischen Sprachwissenschaft)


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 58
Edited by Maurizio Gotti