We are happy to announce a talk by Patrick Grosz (University of Oslo) at the Semantics Colloquium.

Please register beforehand (s.walter@em.uni-frankfurt.de) to receive the access data to zoom on Thursday shortly before the talk starts.

Title: What face emojis can teach us about language

Date: February 18

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct


Face emojis are a means to integrate features of multimodal communication into written digital communication (exemplified for the happy face in the written message “is there coffee? 😀”). They appear to be digital counterparts of facial expressions, intonation in speech, or natural language expressions such as the interjections “wow”, “ugh”, and “yuck”. Based on a semantic analysis of text-accompanying face emojis, this talk raises the question of what they can teach us about the accompanying text itself. In other words: what can we learn about language (as the traditional object of study in linguistics) from looking at face emojis? A particular focus in this talk will be on the anaphoricity of face emojis with regards to their propositional subject matter, i.e. the proposition towards which they express an affective/emotional attitude. In exploring the range of anaphoric relations that emerge in emoji-text combinations, the talk will particularly focus on conditional clauses.