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Digital Communication and Multimodal Features: Functioning of Emoji in Interpersonal Communication

Journal: RUDN Journal of Language Studies, Semiotics and Semantics (Vol.13, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 769-783

Keywords : iconic symbols; emoji; digital semiotics; manipulative techniques; multimodal text; digital communication;

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Technical advances and digital means of communication have led to the development of digital semiotics which is characterised by its multimodality and abounds in paralinguistic elements such as emojis, emoticons, memes, etc. These extralinguistic elements serve as a compensatory mechanism in the new communication means. The increasing interest of users in various iconic signs and symbols generates the research interest in different fields of knowledge. The study aims to consider cognitive, semiotic and psycholinguistic features of emojis in interpersonal communication through analysing their functions in text messages and in social network messages. An attempt to reveal their persuasive mechanism is made. The research is based on a large scale dataset comprised of the private text messages as well as public posts on social networks which include verbal and nonverbal / iconic elements. The research data presents a multilingual bank of English, Russian and French sources. The research methods include context analysis, linguistic and pragmatic analysis and content analysis. The findings show that emojis in private interpersonal communication perform a number of functions, namely nonverbal, emotive, pragmatic, punctuation, substitutional, decorative and rhetorical functions. These iconic symbols incorporated in the interpersonal digital communication present a compensatory mechanism and the means of persuasion of a message addressee / recipient. The combination of verbal and iconic elements triggers a double focusing mechanism, and the perception is shaped by all cognitive mechanisms including rational and emotional, unconscious components.

Last modified: 2022-10-03 04:02:41