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Developing a Corpus of Emojis in Conventional Usage

asked 2018-10-02 10:52:39 -0500

Hello, my name is Alijan Ozkiral and I'm a BA/MA in Literature student at Stony Brook University. I am developing a thesis on emojis and how they attach affect to written language. I found the best way for me to explain my idea is through the concept of a montage in media studies. In a montage you have two images. The first image's emotional affect is defined by the second image. For my thesis, the first image is the sentence and the second image is the emoji which changes the affect delivered by the sentence. I am interested in how these emojis change or modify the delivered meaning of the sentence they are affixed to. For example, do they negate sarcasm or aggression in a sentence? As I narrow my focus, I intend to use linguistics to support my analysis of this phenomenon.

Due to the issue of printing not supporting emojis, I am having immense difficulty developing a corpus for my project. I cannot find a book that utilizes emojis how they are used now. I am hesitant to use tweets from Twitter or text messages since that would raise the question of "am I cherry picking these messages to fit my agenda." I come to Ask A Linguist to see if anyone is developing a corpus for a similar project, or if there are any ideas as to how I could develop a corpus on this phenomenon.

Thank you so much!

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answered 2018-10-09 16:08:26 -0500

Hey Alijan! I am myself developing a survey to conduct a similar research and see the anomalies that these emojis give rise to in virtual communication. I don't know about a book as such but you can find a conventionalized definition of emoticons on emojipedia. Hope it helps :)

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answered 2018-10-09 00:39:46 -0500

You need to do a study, asking participants to respond using emojis and explain their intent. Match their reported intent to the expectations and hypostheses you've developed, and do a cross-comparitive study. You can have some statistical analysis in terms of rating type of emojis with intended expression. Symbols are iconic, and inherently limited, so often, the usage is necessarily idiosyncratic, and never literal. you are looking at a universal expression, based on facial recognition. Intrinsically visual, an emoji is a different frequency of expression. Try having your subjects create "sentences" using nothing but emojis and then see if other subjects interpret them correctly, measure errors. You'll end up with a matrix of data.

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Asked: 2018-10-02 10:52:39 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 09 '18