Discourse anaphoricity and first-person indexicality in emoji resolution

  • Patrick Grosz
  • Elsi Kaiser
  • Francesco Pierini

Abstract

This paper proposes a formal semantic classification of emoji-text combinations, focusing on two core sets of emoji: face emoji and activity emoji. Based on different data sources (introspective intuitions, naturalistic Twitter examples, and experimental evidence), we argue that activity emoji (case study I) are essentially event descriptions that serve as separate discourse units (similar to free adjuncts) and connect to the accompanying text by virtue of suitable discourse relations. By contrast, face emoji (case study II) are expressive elements that are anchored to an attitude holder and comment on a proposition provided by the accompanying text. We conclude by revisiting emoji semantics from the perspective of formal gesture semantics: we probe interactions of emoji and texts that contain clausal negation, and conclude that emoji generally do not scope under negation; however, the appearance of such a scope relation arises when activity emoji are connected to the accompanying text by virtue of an Explanation discourse relation.
Published
2021-09-16
How to Cite
Grosz, P., Kaiser, E., & Pierini, F. (2021). Discourse anaphoricity and first-person indexicality in emoji resolution. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 25, 340-357. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.941