A study of phatic emoji use in WhatsApp communication
Mobile messaging is considered as a prominent site for phatic communication, where interpersonal connection is often foregrounded over information transaction. Though frequently overlooked, a large amount of this interpersonal work is done nonverbally through regular and meaningful emoji use. This exploratory study deals with emoji use within Laver’s (1975) phatic token framework, showing that different relationship structures (e.g., status-differential vs. solidary) correspond to distinct phatic token norms. The article analyzes phatic emoji use in a small-scale corpus of WhatsApp interactions between (a) a teacher and her L2-English students and (b) a teacher and her friends/family. Qualitative and quantitative analyses reveal patterns which widely corroborate Laver’s account of socially marked and unmarked token options: the teacher, the students, and the friends/family members tend towards addressee-specific use of neutral, other-oriented, and self-oriented phatic emojis.
Keywords: electronically-mediated communication, emojis, phatic communion, phatic tokens, pragmatics, WhatsApp
Published online: 07 June 2019
Al Rashdi, Fathiya
Alcántara Plá, Manuel
Baron, Naomi S., and Richard Ling
Brown, Penelope, and Steven C. Levinson
Coupland, Justine, Nikolas Coupland, and Jeffrey D. Robinson
Derks, Daantje, Arjan E. R. Bos, and Jasper von Grumbkow
Dresner, Eli, and Susan C. Herring
Færch, Claus, and Gabriele Kasper
Padilla Cruz, Manuel
2004 “On the social importance of phatic utterances: Some considerations for a relevance-theoretic approach.” In Current Trends in Intercultural, Cognitive and Social Pragmatics, ed. by Pilar Garcés Conejos, Reyes Gómez Morón, Lucía Fernández Amaya, and Manuel Padilla Cruz, 199–216. Sevilla: Intercultural Pragmatics Research Group.
Provine, Robert R., Robert J. Spencer, and Darcy L. Mandell
Sacks, Harvey, Emanuel A. Schegloff, and Gail Jefferson
2017 “Accommodation in WhatsApp communication.” Paper presented at the 6th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora. University of Antwerp, 17–18 September 2017.
Walther, Joseph B.
Cited by 6 other publications
Bai, Qiyu, Qi Dan, Zhe Mu & Maokun Yang
Messerli, Thomas C. & Miriam A. Locher
Xie, Chaoqun, Francisco Yus & Hartmut Haberland
Yang, Xiran & Meichun Liu
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 may 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.