A Social Semiotic Multimodal Analysis Of The Emojis Used In Students’ Facebook Interactions

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Université Mouloud Mammeri Tizi Ouzou
The present study investigates the social semiotic multimodal analysis of emojis used on Facebook online interaction by Master one students of the department of English at Mouloud Mammeri University of Tizi-Ouzou. It investigates the attitudes of students towards emojis and their use, and examines the communicative functions of emojis within students’ messages. Another objective of this research study is to determine whether emojis have a visual grammar or not. The study is conducted using a questionnaire designed online to Master one students of the department of English in order to get more reliable data about the students’ attitudes towards emojis and their use. We have collected a limited number of students’ conversations that took place on Facebook Messenger. In addition to students’ comments on the Facebook group that we have created specifically for Master one students. Using a mixed method research, the study analyses the linguistic and visual modes of students’ conversations and comments of Facebook group in the light of two theoretical frameworks. The first is the Speech Act Theory set by Austin and Searle (1962, 1969) adopted to analyze the effect of emojis on the linguistic mode in terms of applying the locutionary, illocutuionary and perlocutionary acts on emojis in order to derive the different functions that Emojis carry. The second is social semiotic multimodal approach set by Kress and Leeuwen (1996; 2006) used to analyze emojis as semiotic resources that constitute modes and how these resources are combined to convey meaning in terms of having a visual grammar that helps decipher them. The results of the study reveal that master one students of the department of English have positive attitudes towards emojis and are familiar with their use. Furthermore, the findings indicate that emojis, in terms of speech acts, can have literal as well as intended meanings, and they carry communicative functions within students' messages mainly the phatic and emotive function. Finally, using the metaphorical associations derived from the theory of visual grammar, Emojis can be said to have a visual grammar.
30cm ; 76p. ; Ill. en coul.
Communicative Functions, Emojis, Facebook Messenger, Multimodality online interaction, Social Semiotics, Speech Act.
Didactics of Foreign Languages