AWEJ Volume.5 Number.3, 2014 Pp.262-277
Gender and Lexical Features in Jordanian University Students’
Use of SMS Messaging
Rafat M. Al Rousan
Department of Applied Linguistics, Yanbu University College,
The phenomenal growth of mobile phone and SMS messaging in Jordan calls for an urgent analysis of its social, psychological and linguistic impact on Jordanians. The present study aims at exploring gender variation in the lexical features used in the SMS messaging of young Jordanian university students. This study draws upon theories of language and gender in face-to-face communication and in computer-mediated communication. One research question guides the study: How do young Jordanian male and female university students use different lexical features in their SMS messaging? The analysis of the present study is based on a corpus of 1,612 SMS messages, which was collected from young male and female university students using three different techniques of data collection. The collected data were categorized according to Yule’s (2009) classification of lexical words. The analysis of data showed that the young Jordanian male and female university students differ in terms of the lexical features used in their SMS messaging. The males used more abbreviation and acronyms than the females, whereas the females used more borrowing, derivation, compounding, blending, conversion, and coinage than the males. The paper concludes by suggesting that females tend to use a more clear and expressive language in their SMS messaging. Some recommendations are presented for future research.
Keywords: Gender differences, SMS messaging, Lexical features, Jordanian students