n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - A textual analysis of selected text messages of male and female

Volume 2, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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This work undertakes the Theme-Rheme model of textual organization in the structural patterns of information in selected text messages of male and female undergraduate students of some tertiary institutions in Nigeria because SMS text is one of the cheapest mailing services students can afford. Forty (40) SMS text messages were collected from cellular phones of twenty (20) males and twenty (20) females between the ages of 18-30. The analyses of data were guided by general linguistic principles. Halliday's Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) framework was used. The results showed that out of the 80 clauses analyzed, 51 clauses were marked (66%) and 29 clauses were unmarked (34%), 36 clauses had Simple Themes (45%) and 44 clauses had Multiple Themes (55%). This was significant for the fact that Marked Themes occurred more than Unmarked Themes because there was no rigid form to be followed as the liberty to prioritize whatever the texters want was there. It was noted that Unmarked Themes elements were realized by nouns and pronouns. This study has been able to reveal the significance and realization of organizational structure of text messages using functional linguistic approach. It has also been able to explore Marked and Unmarked Themes in the structuring of information in text messages. It has further shown the interplay of Simple and Multiple themes. It, moreover, revealed that Theme-Rheme relationships were often realized by the same structural elements in the text messages, and the elements that were often given thematic status were mainly realized by nouns and pronouns. It is clear from the study that the analysis of components of textual organization is a tool in enhancing proper understanding of texts and pinning down the intended message of writers through what they front and give thematic status.

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