I am looking for a large corpus of text messages. By large, I am hoping to have at least 15,000 text messages in my sample. I am fine with combining several smaller corpora into a larger corpus as I will also be adding thousands of text messages relating to the patterns of interest in my research.

Clarification on Requirements:

  • Text messages should predominantly be in English (US/American ideally), although a mixture of Spanish (Mexican Spanish) is also good.
  • The corpus can be either free or available for a reasonable fee.
  • They should be text messages, as I am specifically looking for euphemisms and slang used in text messaging as well as emoticons.
  • 1
    It isn't exactly what you're asking for but have you considered using the Twitter API to build a corpus of tweets?
    – acattle
    Oct 28 '12 at 11:00
  • not free, but look at this: catalog.ldc.upenn.edu/LDC2017T07
    – Daniel
    Oct 26 '17 at 4:23
  • @Daniel this is in Egyptian Arabic, not English (see first bulleted requirement) in question
    – Dan
    Nov 24 '17 at 22:53

I only found this corpus on the NUS (National University of Singapore) site, but luckily it has a lot of entries.

It has a download1 for a corpus containing ~10,000 text messages, which was the original corpus.

But if you go to this page2, there is a table listing the corpora (they range from ~10,000 to ~51,000 text messages) available for download. The top line being the most recent corpus there; you can download either in XML or SQL, or download the statistics.

I must remind you (and everyone who uses it) that you should make sure to follow the instructions asked by the researchers, in case you choose it.

Update: please see the comment below my answer.

Notes: It looks like the download site is down, instead you can download all the data from their Github Repo

  • 7
    @Dan O'Day I'm one of organizers of the NUS SMS Corpus, referenced in this answer. We had a recent paper in Language Resources and Evaluation that describes all of the SMS corpora we found, paid or free, that are of some non-trivial scale (you can get the preprint from the corpus website, linked in the answer). Unfortunately, none of them really match your U.S. Eng/Spa (Mexican) requirements. The NUS corpus' English messages are largely from Singaporean university students, so the language you'll see used are quite a bit different than those you would see in U.S. SMS. Oct 27 '12 at 14:32
  • @majnemɪzdæn Consider accepting the answer if it solves your question. :)
    – Alenanno
    Sep 30 '14 at 10:29
  • @Alenanno my apologies, I vacillate only because technically this did not meet my requirements (the Singaporean English didn't work for my requirements). The reality is that there likely is not a corpus that does. I ended up beginning to create one, but do not have enough samples yet to make it all that significant. I did upvote this answer, however - but perhaps another corpus will come to light?
    – Dan
    Sep 30 '14 at 13:06
  • @majnemɪzdæn Don't worry, there is nothing forcing you to accept, especially if you're not 100% satisfied, but I doubt there's a corpus that will, as you said.
    – Alenanno
    Sep 30 '14 at 14:49
  • 1

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