Michela Cortini & Giuseppe Mininni
University of Bari, Italy





The dialogical construction of self can be made more evident by investigating the role of culture conveyed by means of communication media (Hermans, 2001). Indeed, such a role can be seen as ambivalent since the elaboration of self allowed by communication media is woven by both monological and dialogical dynamics. The mass media, in particular, have provoked alterations in the dialogical structure of natural face-to-face interactions and brought about forms of monologism. Born out of the fusion between computers and telephones, new media permit a return to some form of dialogism afforded by real time turn-taking which allows individuals to share an interactive sense in regard to what is happening in their communication. The right way to approach such new dialogical texts is by a discursive analysis which is able to let the diatextual dynamic (Mininni, 1992, 1999, 2000) emerge, that is, to reconstruct the way by which interlocutors co-construct the sense of the ongoing interaction thanks to the text. Such a discursive analysis is based on the distinction between intralocutor diatexts (whose prototype is made up by writing) and interlocutor ones, the latter reflecting high interactive and the former low interactive communicative events (Mininni, Ghiglione & Sales-Wuillemin 1995). We analyze a new discursive genre: SMS which permits writing by means of cell-phones. We consider SMS as phatic narration; in other words, as providing an ideal balance between the opportunity for self disclosure and the possibility of interacting with the other (Mininni 2002). The corpus of data we have encoded following discursive analysis principles (Mininni, 2000; Ghiglione, Kekenbosch & Landré, 1995) comprises a series of messages written and/or received by 80 students for the psychology degree of the University of Bari during the year 2000.


Ghiglione, R., Kekenbosch, C. & Landré, A. (1995). L'analyse cognitivo-discursive. Grenoble, France: Presses universitaire de Grenoble.

Mininni, G. (1992). Diatesti. Napoli, Italy: Liguori Editore

Mininni, G. (1999). Diatexts we mean (and live) by. European Journal for Semiotic Studies, 11, 609 - 628.

Mininni, G. (2000). Psicologia del parlare comune. Bologna, Italy: Grasso Editore.

Mininni, G. (2002), SMS: La scrittura dal fiato corto. Psicologia Contemporanea, 29 (no 170), 18 - 25.

Mininni, G., Ghiglione, R. & Sales-Wuillemin, E. (1995). The intralocutor's diatextual frame. Journal of Pragmatics, 24, 471-487.