Teenagers are innovative language users, but their role in language change is still unclear. It is vital to investigate teenagers' language usage in order to better understand youth language and culture, research language innovation and describe longer-lasting linguistic and social processes. Today, youth interaction and language practices take place largely online via instant messaging. Researchers currently have little information on teenagers' spoken language and 'netspeak' in Estonia.
In the Teen Speak in Estonia project, we are undertaking an investigation of youth language, aiming to produce the first systematic corpus of Estonian teenagers' spoken and Internet language and to inspire further research on teenagers' language use in Estonia. We will explore youth language use and code-switching, analyse language variation by age, gender and region, and compare Internet language to spoken language. We engage teenagers as citizen sociolinguists to explore their own language use and dynamics.
The Teen Speak in Estonia project is funded by the "Estonian Language and Culture in the Digital Age (2019-2027)" R&D programme of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.