Description: This study examines orthographic variation in synchronous computer-mediated French discourse. All nontraditional variations of selected frequently occuring items are quantified in order to provide an etic (i.e., from an external perspective) analysis. The primary variable of interest is age since this study focuses on providing a comparison of chat participants in their twenties versus those in their fifties. The widespread claim is that younger people communicate using more informal and/or nontraditional forms than older people; however, the results of the present study suggest that this is not always the case. The main finding of the present study is that the twentysomethings and the fiftysomethings produce the nontraditional orthography in a similar fashion in 52.2% of the terms, and in a non-similar fashion in 47.8% of the terms. Following the presentation and discussion of the results, directions for future research are provided.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Kharrat, Laila Kiblawi