Welcome to What's up, Switzerland?, a university project financed by the SNSF. The project is non-commercial and not affiliated to WhatsApp and Facebook

Some key figures about our project:

  • Project sum: CHF 1'597'904 (SNSF, Sinergia: CRSII1_160714)
  • Project leader: Elisabeth Stark (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Involved Universities:
  • Project duration: 36 months (1/1/2016 – 31/12/2018)
  • Overall Research Questions:
    1. What do Swiss WhatsApp messages look like? What has changed overall between Swiss SMS and Swiss WhatsApp messages, and why (as regards linguistic structures, use of images in a broad sense, spelling, register-specific style, individualization vs. accommodation).
    2. What is said / done by the individual users and the media in/on WhatsApp messages and chats, in relation to the findings for question 1? 
  • Subprojects: The project consists of four subprojects: 
    • Language(s) of WhatsApp: Verbal Periphrases and Argument Drop
    • Language Design in WhatsApp: Icono/Graphy
    • Individuals in WhatsApp
    • The Cultural Discourses and Social Meanings of Mobile Communication

The whole project at a glance.


In January 2018, the sub-projects A and C will thost the conference “Patterns of repetition in language use” in Leipzig. More ...


In November 2017, the sub-project B and D will host the first international conference to focus specifically on visual communication in/about new media.


More ...


Latest publication 

Petitjean, C. & E. Morel (2017). "Hahaha": Laughter as a Resource to Manage WhatsApp Conversations. Journal of Pragmatics 110, 1-19.


Upcoming talks

  • 19/07/2017: Samuel Felder: Stylistic Variation as a Means for Identity Construction in WhatsApp Interactions. 15th International Pragmatics Conference, Belfast.
  • 21/7/2017: Etienne Morel and Cécile Petitjean: "Hahaha": How and why to produce laughter in WhatsApp conversations. 15th International Pragmatics Conference, Belfast.
  • 28/7/2017: Christa Dürscheid/Christina Siever: On the Relation of Writing and Images in Digital Communication. AILA, Rio de Janeiro.
  • 10/10/2017: Franziska Stuntebeck: Subject versus object clitic drop in non-standard writing (WhatsApp chats). XXXV Romanistentag. Universität Zürich.
  • 06/01/2018: Franziska Stuntebeck: “moi Ø m’en fou” – topic drop in Swiss WhatsApp messages. A cross-linguistic study on French and Italian. MLA 2018, New York City.