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The dna of mobile communication

Mobile technology has an extensive and profound impact on individuals and society. Despite the widespread use and importance of this type of communication in everyday life it is still relatively unexplored.

This is the starting point for a research project at the Department of Applied Information Technology, funded by the Swedish Research Council, which runs 2013-2015. The project is conducted by Ylva Hård af Segerstad  and Alexandra Weilenmann, both associate professors in Applied IT.

The overall purpose of the project is to study spoken and text-based mobile communications from a holistic approach by collecting and analyzing a series of interactions and its constituents - the mobile communications dna.

Mobile phone calls and text messages cannot be seen as isolated events with no communication as part of an ongoing, continuous communication process. Previous research on mobile communication often lack this holistic approach, mainly because of technical and ethical difficulties. Previous studies have often focused on material from either speech or text, and usually only on one party of a call. Another aim of the project is to contribute to the development of methodologies for data collection of mobile communication. The collected linguistic material will also be used to enrich ongoing and future research by establishing a database, a so-called corpus, in collaboration with Language Technology at University of Gothenburg.

There are several application domains for this type of research. Increased knowledge about mobile communication can be used in the development of dialogue systems (for instance SJ's or IKEA's customer service that you can communicate with using everyday language) and mobile services, where knowledge of how people communicate is important for designing interesting and useful services.

During winter 2013-2014 we are working on data collection for the project. Please contact us if you wish to participate in the project or want to hear more about our research.

Selected publications

Arminen, I. and Weilenmann, A. (2008). Mobile presence and intimacy: Reshaping social actions in mobile contextual configuration. In Journal of Pragmatics, Special issue on Communicating Space and Place, Elsevier.

Hård af Segerstad, Y. & Weilenmann, A. (2013). Methodological Challenges for Studying Cross-Platform Conversations. Paper presented at Internet Research 14.0: Resistance and Appropriation, The Fourteenth International Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers, Denver, Colorado, USA, 23-26 October 2013

Hård af Segerstad, Y. (2005). "Language in SMS – a Socio-Linguistic View". In: Harper, R. Palen, L. & Taylor, A. (eds.), The Inside Text. Social, Cultural and Design Perspectives on SMS. Kluwer Academic Publishers BV, Dordrecht.

Hård af Segerstad, Y. (2005). "Language Use in Swedish Mobile Text Messages". In: Ling, R. and Pedersen, P. (eds.). Front Stage-Back Stage: Mobile Communication and the Renegotiation of the Social Sphere. Kluwer Academic Publishers BV, Dordrecht.

Weilenmann, A. (2003) ”I can’t talk now, I’m in a fitting room”: Availability and Location in Mobile Phone Conversations, Environment and Planning A, special Issue on Mobile Technologies and Space, (ed) E Laurier, vol. 35 (9), 1589 – 1605, Pion Ltd.

Page Manager: Peter Larsson|Last update: 4/28/2014

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