Semiotics of Emoji

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-11-17
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Emoji have gone from being virtually unknown to being a central topic in internet communication. What is behind the rise and rise of these winky faces, clinking glasses and smiling poos? Given the sheer variety of verbal communication on the internet and English's still-controversial role as lingua mundi for the web, these icons have emerged as a compensatory universal language.

The Semiotics of Emoji looks at what is officially the world's fastest growing form of communication. Emoji, the colourful symbols and glyphs that represent everything from frowning disapproval to red-faced shame, are fast becoming embedded into digital communication. Controlled by a centralized body and regulated across the web, emoji seems to be a language : but is it? The rapid adoption of emoji in such a short span of time makes it a rich study in exploring the functions of language.

Professor Marcel Danesi, an internationally-known expert in semiotics, branding and communication, answers the pertinent questions. Are emojis making us dumber? Can they ultimately replace language? Will people grow up emoji literate as well as digitally native? Can there be such a thing as a Universal Visual Language? Read this book for the answers.

Author Biography

Marcel Danesi is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is known for his work in semiotics and youth culture. He has published on the meanings of popular culture and how they inform social evolution. He has also written textbooks introducing linguistcs and semiotics, and published a series of books on advertising as a sign system.

Table of Contents

1. Emoji and Writing Systems

Defining Emoji
Writing Systems
Writing as Social Practice
Research Method

2. Emoji Uses

Phatic Function
Emotive Function

3. Emoji Competence

General Features
The Emoji Code
Core Emoji
Peripheral Emoji

4. Emoji Semantics

The Thesaurus Effect
Facial Emoji
The Power of Images

5. Emoji Grammar

Rebus Writing

6. Emoji Pragmatics

Pragmatic Competence
Other Pragmatic Functions
Some Relevant Questions and Findings

7. Emoji Variation

Cross-Cultural Variation
Usage According to Nation
Cultural Coding
Adjacency Pair Variation
Cartoon Style Literacy

8. Emoji Spread

Emoji-Only Writing
Emoji Translations
Emoji in Advertising

9. Universal Languages

Artificial Languages
The Emoji Code

10. A Communication Revolution?

The Global Village
Emoji as Trend
The Future of Emoji


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