Letter repetitions in computer-mediated communication: A unique link between spoken and online language

Yoram M. Kalman*, Darren Gergle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Computer-mediated communication (CMC) affords many CMC cues which augment the verbal content of the message: all uppercase letters, asterisks, emoticons, punctuation marks, chronemics (time-related messages) and letter repetitions, to name a few. Letter repetitions are unique CMC cues in that they appear to be a written emulation of a spoken paralinguistic cue - phoneme extension. In this study we explore letter repetitions as a CMC cue, with specific emphasis on elucidating the link between them and spoken nonverbal cues. The letter repetitions are studied in the Enron Corpus, a large ecologically valid collection (∼500,000) of e-mail messages sent by and to employees of the Enron Corporation. We conclude that letter repetitions in the corpus often, but not always, emulate spoken nonverbal cues. This conclusion is examined in a longitudinal analysis that demonstrates the dynamic nature of this cue, and suggests that the usage of letter repetitions is increasing over time, while the link to spoken language is diminishing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2014

Keywords

  • CMC cues
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Letter repetitions
  • Nonverbal cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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