Prototypische chatspeakkenmerken in Vlaamse tienerchattaal | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 67, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0039-8691
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1214



In the present study, the use of allegedly typical and mostly universal, genre-bound chatspeak features is examined, such as leetspeak, acronyms, abbreviations and other shortening mechanisms. We investigate how common they actually are in a large written chat corpus (more than two million words), produced by Flemish teenagers between 2007 and 2013. Moreover, we investigate whether their frequency correlates with the social variables gender and age and whether it depends on the medium in which the conversation takes place (synchrous Instant Messaging vs. asynchronous CMC). The quantitative analysis reveals no major impact of gender, despite it receiving ample attention in recent CMC research. Age en especially medium, however, are pointed to as two significant determinants. Furthermore, the results call for a distinction between merely creative and playful chatspeak forms on the one hand and highly functional features on the other.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): age; chat language; CMC; Flemish adolescents; gender
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