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.


Quoting the project

If you want to quote the project or the corpus, please use the following quotation style:

When quoting the project:

  • Mainproject: Stark, Elisabeth (2016-2018). SNSF project  "What’s up, Switzerland?" (Sinergia: CRSII1_160714). University of Zurich. www.whatsup-switzerland.ch.
  • Subproject A: Stark, Elisabeth; Natale, Silvia (2016-2018). Subproject A  "Language(s) of WhatsApp: Verbal Periphrases and Argument Drop" of the  SNSF project  "What’s up, Switzerland?" (Sinergia: CRSII1_160714). Universities of Zurich and Bern. www.whatsup-switzerland.ch.
  • Subproject B: Dürscheid, Christa; Diémoz, Federica (2016-2018). Subproject B "Language Design in WhatsApp: Icono/Graphy" of the  SNSF project  "What’s up, Switzerland?" (Sinergia: CRSII1_160714). Universities of Zurich and Neuchâtel. www.whatsup-switzerland.ch.
  • Subproject C: Siebenhaar, Beat (2016-2018). Subproject C "Individuals in WhatsApp" of the  SNSF project  "What’s up, Switzerland?" (Sinergia: CRSII1_160714). Universities of Zurich and Leipzig. www.whatsup-switzerland.ch.
  • Subproject D: Thurlow, Crispin (2016-2018). Subproject D "The Cultural Discourses and Social Meanings of Mobile Communication" of the  SNSF project  "What’s up, Switzerland?" (Sinergia: CRSII1_160714). Universities of Zurich and Bern. www.whatsup-switzerland.ch

When quoting the corpus:

  • Stark, Elisabeth; Ueberwasser, Simone; Göhrig, Anne (2014-). Corpus "What’s up, Switzerland?". University of Zurich. www.whatsup-switzerland.ch.


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


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


More ...


Latest publication 

Ueberwaser, Simone/Stark, Elisabeth (2017). What's up, Switzerland? Language, individuals and ideologies in mobile messaging. Babylonica 2/2017, 110, 64-65.


Upcoming talks

  • 08/09/2017: Christa Dürscheid: Zwischen Lokalität und Virtualität. Die Rolle des Raums in der Produktion digitaler Texte.GAL, Basel.
  • 10/10/2017: Franziska Stuntebeck: Subject versus object clitic drop in non-standard writing (WhatsApp chats). XXXV Romanistentag. Universität Zürich.
  • 18/10/2017: Vanessa Jaroski: Beyond Borders: Recursivity and Remediation in the Representation of Digital Communication. Language in the Media, Capetown.
  • 15/11/2017: Christina Siever: Sagt ein Emoji mehr als tausend Worte? Kinder-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.