Shift from one dialectal variant to another is also evident in JC and tends to be performed by males when chatting with females.
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The language variety under investigation is Spoken Jordanian Arabic (SJA) that is represented in chat through the use of ASCII (i.e., American Standard Code for Information Interchange) symbols.
In general terms, the ASCII code consists of 128 characters: the most common Latin letters (upper and lower case) that are used in European languages, numerals, punctuation marks, and other common symbols (Palfreyman & al Khalil, 2003).
This study investigates variation in the representation of SJA consonants in Jordanian Chat (JC) in a corpus of online texts drawn from three Jordanian chat rooms.
The focus is on identifying variants of consonants and studying them in relation to their users.
It is expected that answering these questions will lead to an understanding of why SJA phonemes are orthographically represented as they are in JC and to what extent these representations convey features of the chatters’ social identity, particularly that related to dialect and gender.