Linguists, sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists want you to donate your text messages to science. The text4science project, also known as sms4science, aims to build a large corpus of text messages in different languages and dialects to examine the way in which text messaging is changing language and the way we learn to read and write. The project is coordinated by CENTAL, the Centre for Natural Language Processing at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium and includes researchers from Canada’s University of Montreal, University of Ottowa.
Researchers are interested in abbreviation patterns in text messages within different dialects of the same language, among men and women and across generations. According to Forbes Magazine, researchers theorize that abbreviated words are a consequence of laziness, rather a testament to linguistic creativity. Research out of Australia’s University of Tasmania links the ability to interpret and form “textisms” to improved literacy in children.
If you would like to donate you text messages to science, click here.