Legal information

The Questionnaire

About the questionnaire

During the data collection, i.e. while the SMS of the main corpus were collected, the informants were also asked to fill in a questionnaire, responding to questions about their personal data such as age, sex etc., but also about their use of mobile phones and the new media. The same questions were asked in the second call.

Data Privacy

The information thus collected is linked to the SMS sent by the respective informants, however, there is no way of knowing who this person is since no names, phone numbers or other personal information was collected and the individual SMS got stripped off any personal information.

Participation

The questionnaire was available to the participants throughout the collections. It was thus possible to send the information in more than once. In cases where we received more than one questionnaire for one person, we only considered the last one, assuming that people wanted to correct the information provided. The same procedure was applied for people who participated in the first and the second collection. In this case, the information from the second collection was considered. It is thus possible that somebody was a student during the first collection but now figures as a professional, because he graduated in the meantime.


Original questionnaires (as PDF)

The questionnaires were available in four languages ( German, French, Italian, Romansh). Additionally to what you see in the questionnaires presented here, there was a header with our logo as well as a "send"-button. Please keep in mind that what you see for Italian and Romansh is the questionnaire used for the second collection.


Questions asked

General information

Sex is given as F (female), M (male) or n/a (not answered)

Age The age is given as a number for the age of the person at the moment they filled in the form.

Mother tongue(s) The mother tongue(s) as they were given. More than one option possible. It was possible to list other languages than the ones offered as a selection (Standard German, French, Italian, Romansh and Swissgerman Dialect). If the informants typed in other languges, they get listed in the person data but not in the Frequency Distribution.

Other languages spoken Other languages spoken at home and in public. For both fields, more than one options are possible. It was possible to list other languages than the ones offered as a selection (Standard German, French, Italian, Romansh and Swissgerman Dialect). If the informants typed in other languges, they get listed in the person data but not in the Frequency Distribution.

Original questions:

  • for home: Andere Sprache(n), die zuhause häufig verwendet wird/werden; Autre(s) langue(s) pratiquée(s) couramment à la maison; Altra/e lingua/e usata/e spesso a casa.
  • for public: Andere Sprache(n), die ausserhalb von zuhause häufig verwendet wird/werden; Autre(s) langue(s) pratiquée(s) couramment en dehors de la maison; Altra/e lingua/e usata/e spesso fuori casa.

Education The informants' answers were interpreted as follows:

  • Primary Education for informants answering Primarstufe, Primaire or Scuola Primaria (second collection: scuola elementare / scola primara / scoula primara)
  • ISCED Level 2 for informants answering Sekundarstufe I, Secondaire I or Scuola Media (second collection: scuola media / scola reala ni secundara / scoula reala o secundara)
  • ISCED Level 3 for informants answering Sekundarstufe II or Scuola Media superiore (second collection: liceo / gimnasi)
  • British GCE A levels for informants answering Mittelschulstufe, Gymnase/Lycée or Maturità (second collection: altra scuola media superiore / apprendistato / autra scola media ni emprendissadi / otra scoula media o giarsunadi)
  • Bachelor or above for informants answering Hochschulabschluss, Diplôme de fin d'études or Laurea (second collection: università o scuola universitaria professionale / universitad ni scola aulta specialisada / università o scoula ota specialisada)

Occupation The informants' answers were interpreted as follows:

  • Student for informants answering SchülerIn/StudentIn; Elève, Etudiant-e or alunno, studente
  • Services sector for informants answering Dienstleistungsbereich; Prestation de service or terziario
  • Industrial sector for informants answering Industrie or Industria
  • Craft/trade for informants answering Gewerbe; Artisanat or commercio

Home/work postcode/address Postcode where the informant lives or works respectively. In the person information, you can click on the number to get a map.

SMS usage

SMS Use in years The informant was asked, for how many years he has been using SMS. A selection was presented:

  • less than a year
  • 1-3 years
  • 3-5 years
  • more than 5 years

SMS sent per week The informant was asked, how many SMS he sends out in an average week. A selection was presented:

  • less than 5
  • 5-10
  • 10-20
  • 20-50
  • 50-100
  • more than 100

Use of T9 The informant was asked whether he uses his mobile phone's automatic text recognition T9. Options were yes or no.

E-mail, chat, forum use

The informant was asked whether he uses any of these media communication forms: email, chat, forum.

Possible answers were:

  • n/a for no answer
  • never
  • rarely
  • frequently
  • very frequently

Sending SMS from Web The informant was asked whether he sends SMS from the Web. Possible answers were:

  • n/a for no answer
  • never
  • rarely
  • frequently
  • very frequently

Recipients The informant was asked whom his SMS were addressed to. Possible answers:

  • Friends
  • Colleagues (work)
  • Family
  • Games, contests etc.
  • a free field others. This field is displayed after the list in the person data, but not available in the Frequency Distribution

Manner of Writing The informant was asked to shortly describe the way he uses SMS. Since this is free text, the answers can be seen in the person data, but cannot be evaluated in the Frequency Distribution.

Reading and writing habits

Weekly reading time in hours The informant was asked how many hours he spends reading per day in his spare time as well as professionally, excluding SMS and Email. The result is a cardinal number describing the hours.

Kind of Reading The informant was asked which texttypes he reads. Possible answers:

  • newspapers
  • comics
  • web pages
  • books
  • a free field others. This field is displayed after the list in the person data, but not available in the Frequency Distribution
  • Writing by hand
  • The informant was asked whether he writes by hand in his spare time or in his job. Possible answers were yes or no.

Kind of Writing If the informant writes by hand, he was asked what type of texts he produces by hand. Possible answers:

  • notes
  • letters
  • diary
  • a free field others. This field is displayed after the list in the person data, but not available in the Frequency Distribution

Frequency If the informant writes by hand, he was asked how often. Possible answers:

  • n/a for no answer
  • never
  • rarely
  • frequently
  • very frequently

Switching and mixing languages

Switching languages depending on recipient The informant was asked whether he switches languages depending of the recipient. Possible answers were yes or no

Manner of switching If the informant switches languages, he was asked to describe the way in which he switches. Since this is free text, the answers can be seen in the person data, but cannot be evaluated in the Frequency Distribution.

Mixing Languages in an SMS The informant was asked whether he mixes languages when writing SMS. Possible answers were yes or no.

Languages mixed If the informant answered yes to the question above, he was asked which languages he mixes. The following answers were possible:

  • Standard German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Romansh
  • An open field others
If the informants typed in other languages, they get listed in the person data but not in the Frequency Distribution.


Second collection

The second collection took place nearly two years after the first one and was set up for the special needs of research in Italian and Romansh. Accordingly, the questionnaire was adjusted slightly to adjust to the needs of this user group but also to cover the quick technical development. The following was changed:

For all questions concerning languages (e.g. mothertongue), the option Italian dialect ("dialetto della Svizzera italiana") was added. An additional profession was included: farming or forestry ("agricoltura e foreste") An additional question about mobile phone use was added: do you use a smartphone? ("Si serve di uno smartphone (iPhone o simili)?"). Possible answers were yes and no, but it was also possible to leave the question empty. When working with the corpus, it is imperative to realize that these questions were only asked during the second collection. Thus, the percentage of people, who consider the Italian dialect as their mother tongue, cannot be calculated by setting the total number of participants as 100%. Instead, the number of participants of the second collection has to be taken as 100%. The same goes for smarphones etc.

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Topic revision: r8 - 10 May 2015, SimoneUeberwasser
 

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The corpora and documentation are licensed under the <strong>Creative Commons license: Attribution + NoncommercialThe corpora and documentation are licensed under the *Creative Commons license: Attribution + Noncommercial:
- Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.
- Licensees may copy, distribute, display and publish the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits as follows:
Stark, Elisabeth; Ueberwasser, Simone; Ruef, Beni (2009-2014). Swiss SMS Corpus. University of Zurich. https://sms.linguistik.uzh.ch

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