Emojis and gestures: a new typology

  • Francesco Pierini


This paper addresses the question of how emojis are integrated into the text that they occur with. I use the typology of gestural iconic enrichments proposed by Schlenker (2018a, 2018b) to investigate the hypothesis that emojis denoting objects (e.g., 🎈 ) and activities (e.g., 💃) project (i.e., interact with logical operators) when co-occurring with text in a similar way as gestures do with speech. In particular, I claim that [i.] emojis generate co-suppositions, i.e., assertion-dependent presuppositions, when immediately following text (e.g., the sentence “John didn’t train today 🏋” gives rise to the inference that “if John had trained today, weightlifting would have been involved”); [ii.] emojis generate supplements (in the sense of Potts, 2005), just like appositive relative clauses, when they are separated from the accompanying text by a pause (e.g., the sentence “John trained today…🏋” gives rise to theinference that “John trained today, which involved weightlifting”); [iii.] when used as replacements for words (e.g., “Yesterday, John didn’t 🏋 ”), emojis have an at-issue semanticsand can trigger standard presuppositions.
How to Cite
Pierini, F. (2021). Emojis and gestures: a new typology. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 25, 720-732. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.963