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05 JUNE 2015

Emoticons as computer-mediated non-verbal communication

"The term 'emoticons'—short for 'emotion icons'—refers to graphic signs, such as the smiley face, that often accompany computer-mediated textual communication. They are most often characterized as iconic indicators of emotion, conveyed through a communication channel that is parallel to the linguistic one. In this article, it is argued that this conception of emoticons fails to account for some of their important uses. We present a brief outline of speech act theory and use it to provide a complementary account of emoticons, according to which they also function as indicators of illocutionary force. More broadly, we identify and illustrate three ways in which emoticons function: 1) as emotion indicators, mapped directly onto facial expression; 2) as indicators of non-emotional meanings, mapped conventionally onto facial expressions, and 3) as illocutionary force indicators that do not map conventionally onto a facial expression. In concluding, we draw parallels between emoticons and utterance-final punctuation marks, and show how our discussion of emoticons bears upon the broader question of the bounds between linguistic and non-linguistic communication."

(Eli Dresner and Susan C. Herring, 2010)

Dresner, E., & Herring, S. C. (2010). "Functions of the non-verbal in CMC: Emoticons and illocutionary force". Communication Theory, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 249-268.



2010computer-mediated communication (CMC) • computer-mediated textual communication • discourse analysis • Eli Dresner • emoticons • emotion icon • emotion indicators • facial expressionsgraphic communication • graphic signs • hieroglyphs • iconic indicators of emotion • illocutionary act • illocutionary force • illocutionary force indicator • illustration to visually communicate informationimages replace text • linguistic communication • linguistics • non-emotional meanings • non-linguistic communication • non-verbal communicationpictogrampictorial languagepicture language • smiley face • social informatics • speech act theory • Susan Herring • textual computer-mediated communication (CMC) • utterance-final punctuation marks • visual languagevisual literacyvisual representation graphically


Simon Perkins

ECSM 2014 European Conference on Social Media

"The European Conference on Social Media (ECSM 2014) seeks to establish a home for researchers and practitioners with a wide range of approaches to engaging with the impact, use and potential of social media across disciplines. If the defining characteristic of social media is that users create, share and respond to each others information, then the European Conference on Social Media will offer a showcase for state of the art examples.

To achieve this goal, we are inviting researchers to present their findings and new ideas, and practitioners to demonstrate examples from which we can learn. The first European Conference on Social Media – ECSM 2014 will take place in Brighton, UK, a city with a highly developed commercial, artistic and academic engagement with the use and evaluation of social media. This puts Brighton in an excellent position to share experience from European research and practise with Asia, America, Africa and the world."


2014analyticsbig data • Blooma John • Brightonconference • Darren Mundy • democracydigital economics • ECSM 2014 • Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management • eParticipation • European Conference on Social Media ECSM 2014 • international conference • International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments • internet technologies • Irina Purcarea • Luisa Carvalho • mobile working • nudge economics • Open University • organisational knowledge management • participationPersonal Learning EnvironmentPhD researchRMIT University • Sandra Moffett • social informaticssocial media • social network analysis • Sue Nugus • Technology Enhanced Learning • Tobias Bevc • UK • University of Augsburg • University of Economic Studies • University of Hull • University of Ulster


Simon Perkins

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