The Sociolinguistics of Persian SMS: Ways to Identify Age Limits

Moslem Zolfagharkhani, Zahra Khosrovazad


A kind of social system which eases communication is language. Any form of language is very important for different types of communication: interpersonal and inter-group. A form of this social system is short messaging system (SMS) or texting which has been used increasingly since 1990’s. Text messaging, as a language style, is used in everyday life to maintain social networks, to regulate events and to help entertain oneself in the open moments of one’s day. This paper thus examines the SMS style of language communication between two groups of young and middle-aged people. Thirty messages are taken randomly from 10 cell phones (five from each group). Then we analyze the effects of the writers’ characteristic (age) on message length (number of words), dialogue structure (with or without an opening and a closing), and message function (informative vs. relational) to investigate variations among these two age groups. The paper concludes that a significant difference is found between young and middle-aged texters’ linguistic properties.


Persian SMS; Text messaging; Sociolinguistics; Lexicology; Morphology

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