A graphological appraisal of the social media language of students of selected higher institutions in Kwara State, Nigeria

moshood zakariyah


In today's world, the impact of technology on language and communication is so fundamental that hardly can a day pass without one form of influence or another. This is particularly true of (online) media which is now available in nearly every household. This study, therefore, examined the variability of linguistic choices on a technology-based, interactive platform --- the social media. Data for analysis were exracted from two Whatsapp groups --- ECONOMICS CLASS OF 2017, University of Ilorin; and 200 Level ABEN, KWARA State University, MAlete. The data were obtained from different groups to avoid a narrow view of the social media language (SML). The theoretical model for the study was Leech and Short's (2007/ stylistic pluralism which allows for analysis at three distinct levels at which stylistic choices can be made. The study showed that individual make varying choices of linguistic usage at the Whatsapp groups from Standard English which reinforces the arguments of various scholars that view style as the choice of the individual. it concluded that the linguistic features of the SML are functions of the interlocutors' linguistic background, social identity, age, as well as the compact and real-time nature of the social media.


linguistics; stylistics;graphology technology; media; society;

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