Call for Papers - SMS Communication: A Linguistic Approach


Editors: Louise-Amélie Cougnon and Cédrick Fairon

We are soliciting unpublished papers in the field of SMS writing for a Special Issue of Lingvisticæ Investigationes.

Special Issue of Lingvisticæ Investigationes

Recently, communication properties have changed and evolved in many ways. Communication today is faster (the email is certainly much faster than ordinary ‘snail’ mail), and more practical (mobile phones compared to landlines); it blurs certain limits (we can easily keep in touch with friends who live on the other side of the world, thanks to networking websites such as Facebook) and enables multilingual mixing in discussions (chat or role-playing games using automatic translators). However, certain linguists (Jalabert, 2006), and even the media, often point an accusatory finger at new technologies, claiming that communication is “deteriorating” as a result of these innovations. They suggest that there is always a loss of information or quality in translated speech, or even that computer mediated communication (CMC, which includes SMS communication) is destroying language. Others (Sapir, 1949) are firmly convinced that it is better to consider language as an evolving and changing entity. From this point of view, language is a social tool that has to be studied in-depth through the prism of objectivity, as a process in motion which is influenced by new social and technological stakes, rather than as a fading organism.

In order to rise beyond this debate, we propose to study and describe the societal phenomenon of SMS writing in all its complexity, through a resolutely interdisciplinary publication. We follow the impulse initiated by "The inside text" (Harper and al., 2005), covering the social and cultural aspects and applications linked to text messages. We would like to encourage work into the study of specific social sub-groups such as teenagers or deaf people (Power & Power, 2004). We would also appreciate specialized works focusing on the linguistics of SMS writing: spelling (Anis, 2003 & Panckhurst, 2008), lexicon (Cougnon, 2010 & 2011), syntax (Stark, 2011), discourse analysis (Tagg, in press), etc. Studies that adopt an NLP approach (Beaufort and al., 2010, Yvon, 2010) or an empirical approach based on corpora (Fairon and al., 2006a, Fairon and al., 2006b, Tagg, 2007, Dürscheid and Stark, 2010) will be given special attention.

The special issue of Lingvisticae Investigationes aims to explore innovative developments in the field of SMS writing. Papers in the following fields are particularly welcome:

–       Lexicon
–       Syntax
–       Phonetics
–       Psycholinguistics
–       Corpus linguistics
–       Sociolinguistics
–       Natural language processing
–       Language learning
–       Statistics

Language of the special issue

Key dates
–       Call for papers March 2012
–       Intent to Submit: before 22 May 2012
–       Deadline for full paper submission: 31 July 2012
–       Notification of acceptance / rejection: 30 September 2012
–       Final submission of accepted papers: 1 November 2012

Paper Format Guidelines
Your paper must conform to the following requirements to be considered:
–       Body of paper no longer than 20 pages, including abstract, tables, figures and references
–       Abstract no longer than 250 words on the first page
–       Format guidelines applied from in the
–       Contrary to what is written in the LI guideline, as the submission is blind-reviewed, no identifiable author information and
         references should appear in the paper, but on a separate sheet with the following:
         –       Author(s)
         –       Title of Paper
         –       Contact person's name
         –       Email address

The scientific committee selects for publication the most significant articles containing new results, ideas and approaches or articles using original new data. All articles sent to editors are double-blind peer reviewed. Manuscripts should be written in proper English. Authors should pay attention to the style, grammar, and orthography of the paper. Papers should be prepared strongly according to the pattern given in the Guideline. Authors should pay special attention to precise typographical and bibliographical details.

Intent to Submit
You must send an email to using the Subject Line "LI Intent to Submit " by May 22 2012 to indicate that you intend to submit a paper for consideration. Your intent to submit does not bind you to submit an actual paper. However, a note of withdrawal would be appreciated. In your intent to submit email, please include the author(s), tentative title, and brief description.

Submitting your paper
Via email: Submit your paper using the Subject Line "LI First Submission SURNAME" as an attachment via email to by July 31, 2012.

In your email, please include the following attachments:
–       Main anonymised paper
–       Personal information cover sheet
Filenames should follow this pattern: “MainAuthorSurname_LI”

After receipt by our office, you will receive an email notification of receipt within 3 working days. If you do not receive a notification of receipt, please email us at

Scientific committee
Antoniadis Georges (Laboratoire de linguistique et didactique des langues étrangères et maternelles, Université Stendhal de Grenoble, France)
Bernicot Josie (Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition et l'Apprentissage, Université de Poitiers, France)
Cougnon Louise-Amélie (Centre de traitement automatique du Langage, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Cortelazzo Michele (Dipartimento di Studi linguistici e letterari, Università di Padova, Italy)
De Clercq Orphée (Language and translation technology team, Hogeschool Gent, Belgium)
de Marneffe Marie-Catherine (Stanford Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, United States)
De Smedt Thierry (École de communication, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Dister Anne (Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis & Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Drouin Patrick (Oservatoire de Linguistique Sens-Texte, Université de Montréal, Canada)
Fairon Cédrick (Centre de traitement automatique du Langage, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
François Thomas (Institue for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania, United States)
Kyriakopoulou Tita (Laboratoire d'informatique Gaspard-Monge, Université Paris-Est de Marne-la-Vallée, France)
Klein Jean (CELEXROM, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Ledegen Gudrun (Département Communication, Université Rennes 2, France)
Marshman Elizabeth (School of Translation and Interpretation, University of Ottawa, Canada)
Meskill Carla (Department of Educational Theory and Practice, University at Albany, United States)
Panckhurst Rachel (Praxiling UMR 5267 CNRS - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3, France)
Pekarek Doehler Simona (Institut des sciences du langage et de la communication, Université de Neuchâtel)
Renouf Antoinette (School of English, Birmingham City University, Great-Britain)
Roche Mathieu (Laboratoire d'Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique, Université Montpellier 2, France)
Stark Elisabeth (Romanisches Seminar, Universität Zürich, Switzerland)
Tagg Caroline (Centre for English Language Studies, University of Birmingham, Great-Britain)
Yvon François (Laboratoire d'Informatique pour la Mécanique et les Sciences de l'Ingénieur, Université Paris Sud, France)

Jacques  Anis (2003). "Communication électronique scripturale et formes langagières". In Actes des Quatrièmes Rencontres Réseaux Humains / Réseaux Technologiques. Poitiers,  31 mai et 1er juin 2002, Documents, Actes et Rapports pour l'Education, CNDP, pp. 57-70.

Richard Beaufort, Sophie Roekhaut, Louise-Amélie Cougnon and Cédrick Fairon (2010). "A hybrid rule/model-based finite-state framework for normalizing SMS messages". In Jan Hajič et al. (eds.): Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Uppsala, Sweden, 11-16 July 2010, pp. 770–779.

Louise-Amélie Cougnon (2011). "'Tu te prends pour the king of the world?'. Language contact in text messaging context". In Cornelius Hasselblatt, Peter Houtzagers and Remco van Pareren (éds.). Language Contact in Times of Globalization. Studies in Slavic and General Linguistic. 38, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, pp. 45-59.

Louise-Amélie Cougnon (2010). "La néologie dans 'l'écrit spontané'. Etude d'un corpus de SMS en Belgique francophone". In Actes du Congrès International de la néologie dans les langues romanes. Barcelone. Sèrie Activitats, 22, pp. 1139-1154.

Christa Dürscheid and Elisabeth Stark (2010). "SMS4science: An international corpus-based texting project and the specific challenges for multilingual Switzerland". In Crispin Thurlow and Kristine Mroczek (éds.). Language in The New Media: Sociolinguistic perspectives, Oxford, Oxford University Press (in prep.).

Cédrick Fairon, Jean René Klein et Sébastien Paumier (2006a). Le langage SMS. Louvain-la-Neuve, Presses universitaires de Louvain, Cahiers du Cental, 3.1.

Cédrick Fairon, Jean René Klein et Sébastien Paumier (2006b). Le Corpus SMS pour la science. Base de données de 30.000 SMS et logiciels de consultation. CD-Rom, Louvain-la-Neuve, Presses universitaires de Louvain, Cahiers du Cental, 3.2.

Richard Harper, Leysia Ann Palen and Alex Taylor (eds.) (2005). The inside text: Social, cultural and design perspectives on SMS. Springer.

Romain Jalabert (2006). "MoliR, revi1 vit... il son 2vnu foo ! ( Molière, reviens vite ... ils sont devenus fous !) ". In Cahiers pédagogiques, N° 440. [Online] article.php3?id_article=2165 (March 4th 2009).

Rachel Panckhurst (2009). "Short Message Service (SMS) : typologie et problématiques future". In Arnavielle T. (coord.), Polyphonies, pour Michelle Lanvin, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, pp. 33-52.

Mary Power and Des Power (2004). "Everyone here speaks txt : Deaf people using sms in Australia and the rest of the world". In Journal of deaf studies and deaf education, 9(3), pp. 333–343.

Edward Sapir (1949). Selected Writings in Language, Culture and Personality. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Elisabeth Stark (2011). "La morphosyntaxe dans les SMS suisse francophones : Le marquage de l'accord sujet-verbe conjugué". In Adrian Stähli, Christa Dürscheid and Marie-José Béguelin (eds.). SMS-Kommunikation in der Schweiz: Sprach- und Varietätengebrauch / … (= Linguistik online 48, 4/2011), pp. 35–48.

Caroline Tagg (in press) The Discourse of Text Messaging. London, Continuum.

Caroline Tagg (2007). "Corpus-based analysis of SMS text messaging". In Teo, P. and Ho, C. (eds). Discourse in the Modern World: Perspectives and Challenges, Singapore, McGraw Hill, pp. 267-284.

François Yvon (2010). "Rewriting the orthography of SMS messages". In Natural Language Engineering, 16(2), pp. 133-159.