I am student at the English department at the University of Vienna. I am writing Master thesis on 'Nonstandard spellings in Lolcats and Textspeak'. The purpose of my study is to analyze nonstandard spellings of Lolspeak (hilarious captions written to cat pictures) and Textspeak (the variant of English typically used in SMS messages). In order to be able to complete the empirical part of my thesis, I have to collect authentic text messages. Not much research has been conducted on the creativity of private text messages so far which, makes this study particularly interesting and useful for other researchers.

The aim of the questionnaire to collect authentic text messages and to gather sociolinguistic information about participants to examine how sociolinguistic factors (such as age, gender, level of education etc.) influence the nonstandard spellings of Textspeak. All data collected will be anonymized before use.

This survey is not a test and therefore there are no wrong answers. Please get in touch if you have any further questions or anything is unclear in regard to the questionnaire.

Thank you for your participantion and for helping me complete my study by taking part in this online survey.




I. Authentic SMS messages collection

Please provide one or more of the last text messages you have sent to other people without using predictive texting software.  Please copy text messages exactly as they are, without editing. The characteristic feature of Textspeak is the breaking of grammatico-lexical rules, resulting in deviation from Standard English. Most importantly, breaking the language rules in SMS language is not a sign of illiteracy, but rather shows an extensive knowledge of language and the ability to play with it in a creative way.

Please provide only single text messages restricted to 160 characters with plain text, without videos, animations, or melodies. Along with each text message please provide:


- the intended recipient of the message (details about the intended recipient : not the real name but your relation with recipient e.g. friend/cousin/co-worker, or such )

- the purpose of the message

- the kind of device the text message was sent from

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II. Asking for sociolinguistic information to examine how it affects the creativity of Textspeak

Please answer the following questions:

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1. What is your gender ?

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2. What is your age ?

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3. What is your education level ?

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4. Which subjects, if any, do/did you study ?

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5. What is your current occupation ?

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6. What is your country of origin ?

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7. What is your country of residence ( indicate state/province/region, city) ?

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8. What is your native language ?

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9. Do you speak any other languages ? If yes, indicate which languages ?

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10. How often do you text ? Indicate how many times do you text :

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11. Why do you text ? What is the reason and motivation behind your texting ? Please check one or more of the following:

Thank you for your cooperation. All information will be anonymized. Some text messages may be quoted in my thesis as examples, but any identifying information they may contain will be removed. As a sign of my gratitude, I will acknowledge you by name in my thesis, should you wish. If you are interested, I can also send a summary of my research findings. Contact me at polakowska_22@hotmail.com.



THANK YOU

T