English Research Paper

Emoji Sequence Use in Enacting Personal Identity

Emoji 2019 - Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media |


Focusing on a Chinese social media platform, this study adopts computer-mediated discourse analysis to examine how users employ emoji sequences to construct their personal identity through the expression of stance and engagement. Seven types of linguistic elements were identified by conducting stance and engagement analysis on emoji sequences in posts by social media influencers. Stance was more frequent than engagement. Attitude markers were the most common element used to convey stance, whereas directive was the most prevalent element used to express engagement. In addition, emoji sequences that did not convey stance and engagement were coded as n/a. This study also observed creative usages in the composition of emoji sequences that compensate for the lack of a prescribed emoji sequence grammar. Based on these findings, it advances recommendations for the design of emoji and of social media platforms grounded in linguistic principles.