The aim of this study is to investigate the use of emoticons in Twitter by Italian users, and to verify, by relying on corpus data and on statistical methodologies, some of the prevailing opinions on the use of emoticons: that they are technically-driven resources, that they are mostly used by young people, and that they are just easy ways of expressing emotions using images instead of words. For this purpose, a corpus of 550,000 tweets extracted from the Italian timeline was used. A mixed-effects model analysis showed that people do not vary significantly their use of emoticons when writing from a computer or from a mobile device. Moreover, the frequency of emoticons is not affected by the age of participants. As a consequence, they are not the exclusive domain of young people. The mastery of Twitter conventions has also a significant effect on the use of emoticons, interacting with other factors: the length of texts, for example, seems to affect only lower mastery users, whose preferred typology of tweet is a short text containing emoticons. The results of this investigation show that the occurrence of emoticons on Twitter is affected by a complex interaction of cultural, technological, and sociolinguistic variables.
|Titolo:||Emoticons as Multifunctional and Pragmatic Resources: A Corpus-based Study on Twitter|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|