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Las unidades discursivas en los mensajes instantáneos de wasap
The aim of the present study is to explore whether traditional discourse units are valid for the analysis of instant messaging (IM) conversations in Spanish. Corpus-based techniques were applied to a 176000 words corpus of Whatsapp interactions in order to compare their features with those of written/spoken texts and of other new forms of communications in Internet. The findings show that we do find relevant differences that affect both the structure of the interaction and how we define the interaction itself. Results indicate that conversations with IM have fuzzy limits, usually occur simultaneously to other interactions, and are multimodal. The findings suggest that units of analysis should be revised not as a variation of traditional written/spoken texts, but as a different class of interactions.