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Linguistics & Cognitive Science

Webs of Significance

The SMS Serendipity in PNG (Student texting lingo): Olga Temple


This is the first attempt by the Linguistics Strand, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS), University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), to document the impact of mobile phone technology on language use amongst UPNG students and, by extension, to describe the flowering of this new mode of communication amongst the broader youth community and PNG society as a whole.

A brief discussion of some basic technical concepts, followed by an outline of the historical evolution of SMS world-wide (and in PNG, in particular), introduces the ‘Tok’ harvested in 2009 from UPNG Waigani and Taurama campuses by a research team of senior UPNG sociolinguistics students under my supervision.

This volume of research findings into the ongoing language change in Papua New Guinea, apart from listing a glossary of most popular ‘currency of thought exchange,’ also provides a comparative analysis of UPNG student lingo with texting vocabularies in the English-speaking world and beyond.

Click HERE to download the complete text.

Tok Ples & Social Netwoking: PNG 2010


This is the book I published in May 2011 for my students at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).

Genesutra stands for ‘Generalizing Sutra.’ It is a digest of the Introduction to Linguistics course that I have taught at the UPNG since 2007. ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’; hence, my choice of the sutra form.

Through the wide-angle lens of dialectics, Genesutra captures Language, alive with Generalization. It is Generalization (the ‘Rational Mechanism of Language’) that helps us understand the superficial complexities of syntax; the lens of dialectics x-rays linguistic structures, revealing universal principles of human understanding at the core of their diversity.

Click HERE to download the cover page