PsychNology Journal, Volume 10, Number 2,187 – 214

The case of Digital Writing in Instant Messaging: When cyber written productions are closer to the oral code than the written code

Tonia Lanchantin, Aurélie Simoës-Perlant, Pierre Largy
Université de Toulouse 2 – Le Mirail, Toulouse, France


ABSTRACT

The use of New Information and Communication Technologies, or NICTs, has deeply changed the traditional reading and writing practices. It thus seems necessary to provide a definition of Digital Writing in Instant Messaging (DWIM) to better understand its grammatical, lexical and syntactic characteristics (these two last components define the traditional characteristics of both oral and written codes). Thirty-two French-speaking students around the age of 13 who were enrolled in 8th grade produced one hour of DWIM productions on an instant messaging website in groups of two. They were able to use as many cyber languages as they wanted (we preferred the expression digital writing). This corpus helped to understand that this written structure is closer to the oral code than the written code (the studied population developed their language skills in constant contact with the written in its dual form). Indeed, we showed for instance that users of DWIM sometimes produced repetitions (whereas it is forbidden in traditional writing), never use subject-verb inversions in interrogative sentences, can replace punctuation with emoticons, or used undefined deixises in their sentences. We have also been able to show that having traditional reading and writing habits is not sufficient to create a predisposition towards the use of the DWIM code.

KEYWORDS: Language, Written Production, Digital Writing, Instant Messaging, Adolescents, New Information and Communication Technologies, Oral and Written Codes.


CITE AS:
Lanchantin T., Simoës-Perlant A., Largy P. (2012). The case of Digital Writing in Instant Messaging: When cyber written productions are closer to the oral code than the written code. PsychNology Journal, 10(3), 187 - 214. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from www.psychnology.org.

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PsychNology Journal Volume 10, Number 3