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Developing a Corpus of Emojis in Conventional Usage

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!