The Language of a Computer-Mediated Communication in Japan: Mobile-Phone E-Mail

  •  Noboru Sakai    


This study analyzes a Japanese mobile phone e-mail data corpus (created by the researcher) of 43,295 Keitai-mail exchanged for the purpose of personal communication by 60 young people aged 18 to 30 who are familiar with Keitai-mail practices. The result shows that the Keitai-mail analyzed consists on average of approximately 40 moji (symbols) including 3 emoticons per message, showing that composition is short but not overly abrupt – generally Keitai-mail does not finish in the middle of a sentence. Non-standard textual elements, language plays (LP) such as emoticons, long vowel symbols, irregular use of small moji, and non-standard use of each type of script (e.g., use of Katakana instead of Kanji) are found to be governed by the conventions of Standard Japanese and are not totally random occurrences. 

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