Syntactic Innovations in GSM/SMS Messages among Nigerian Undergraduates:
A Threat to Acquisition of Writing Skill

By
Ebere M. Chukwu
and
Onyekwere Okpara
Department of General Studies
Abio State Polytechnic, Abe

Abstract
This study examines the syntactic features of mobile telephone messages in English language. Corpus linguistic was adopted in data collection via students text messages. Data collected revealed that students mobile telephone messages violate some syntactic rules such as non-application ofSubject-Auxiliary Inversion in questionformations, irregular contraction ofwards and irregular merging ofsome syntactic constituents. This study also examines impromptu tests given to selected students and observed that some ofthe identified deviant structures were being transferred to the students’ written materials, hence the study concludes that mobile text messages are posing serious threats to the students ‘acquisition ofwriting skills. Based on the above, this study recommends adoption of contrastive analysis in the teaching of sentence formations.

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