Impact of Cyber Technology on English Language: A Macro Phonological and Sociolinguistic Analysis of Textese

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Masood Ahmad Malik


The blizzard of computer technologies has strongly influenced all aspects of human life.  Its immense force has led to  a tectonic shift that has challenged many long practised and cherished pedagogical beliefs. In addition to the inroads that ICT has made into the language classrooms, the onslaught of internet and mobile technology has had an unprecedented influence on the grammar, lexis and usage of English language. The changes witnessed by English language under the influence of mobile and internet technologies have generated a debate that ranges from its outright rejection and denigration to its acceptance and extolment. One of the marked influences is the evolution of the variety of English that has been called as “SMS language”, “textese”, “internet language” etc. While John Sutherland (2002) calls it “penmanship for illiterates” and an aberration, David Crystal (2008,2012) considers it as a normal and positive phenomenon. In this backdrop the present paper will try to explore the grey areas lying within these sharp boundaries. The kind of regularity that has been observed in the phonological and sociolinguistic usage of this new variety of English both in the written and spoken form shall be analysed and discussed.

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