Iconicity and modal meaning : emoticons, from body icons to enunciative gestures

Pierre HALTÉ

KEYWORDS : emoticons, emojis, iconicity, modality, iconems

ABSTRACT : Emoticons are iconic signs. They represent gestures or facial expressions and they show the speaker’s emotion. This is why, most of the time, they convey a modal meaning : they validate a propositional content in an affective or axiological way. The purpose of this study is to describe the iconic structure of emoticons, which are composed of what we choose to call “iconems”, and to begin to argue that it is possible to convey modal meaning with iconic markers aiming at verbal content. Firstly, we will consider the different theories of iconicity, then we will look at emoticons from a structural point of view, and we will finally look at emoticons examples to show that there is, indeed, an iconic modal meaning.

To read the abstract of the article in French, click on the link below :
Iconicity and modal meaning : emoticons, from body icons to enunciative gestures

Pierre HALTÉ

Paris V

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