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Emoticons and illocutionary force

Eli Dresner , Susan C. Herring

pp. 81-90

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 chapter, 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. We conclude by considering how our analysis bears upon broader questions concerning language, bodily behavior, and text.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7131-4_8

Full citation:

Dresner, E. , Herring, S. C. (2014)., Emoticons and illocutionary force, in D. Riesenfeld & G. Scarafile (eds.), Perspectives on theory of controversies and the ethics of communication, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 81-90.

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