MORPHOLOGICAL STRATEGIES IN TEXT MESSAGING AMONG NIGERIAN USERS OF GLOBAL SYSTEM FOR MOBILE COMMUNICATION
Text messaging is the application of abridged morphological forms in order to communicate and it is one of the fastest means of communication since the emergence of the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) in the world. In text messaging, we apply innovative language forms with morpho-syntactic structures that have become acceptable since they are understood by the ‘texters’ (senders) and the ‘textees’ (receivers) of the message. There are applications of morphological strategies in the form of omissions, word order violations, contractions, abbreviations, acronyms, compounding, blending and lack of punctuation. All these characterize the morpho-syntactic elements in the Short Message Service (SMS) texts messages. However, there is no hard and fast rule with regards to the morphological choices in SMS. Texters use a combination of letters and numbers in their text messages and in some cases they use only numerals. The texters ignore the basic orthographic and syntactic rules of formal English Language syntax to suit the semantics of their message. This paper, therefore, examines the creative strategies of word formation found in the morphology and syntax of select SMS text messages marked out for this research. Our data was collected from select SMS of individual users and the service providers of GSM. Our thesis statement is that these morphological patterns as used in SMS are already becoming standardized forms being adopted by the Nigerian users of GSM.
Keywords: Morphology and Syntax, SMS texts, GSM (Mobile Phone), Semantics, Nigerian English.