Study reveals emojis isn't all about fun, changes linguistic meaning
New York, Sep 10 (IANS) That winky-face emoji that you use at the end of a text isn't just a fun picture added to your sentence. It can convey a linguistic meaning that changes the interpretation of the sentence, finds a new study.
"Emojis are ubiquitous. They are seemingly everywhere, and people use them a lot in text messages and online along with language," said Benjamin Weissman, the doctoral student at the University of Illinois in the US.
"Spoken and signed languages evolved long before humans developed written representations of language, and spoken and signed languages have ways of enhancing or changing meaning through mechanisms like intonation or gesture," Weissman added.
For the study, appearing in the journal PLOS ONE, the team examined the brain wave patterns associated with language processing, including a pattern called the P600 -- a kind of "error signal" that occurs when a person encounters something linguistically unexpected.
The signal indicates the brain is reprocessing or reanalyzing the content of the sentence.
Then they asked a total of 106 participants to read sentences followed by an emoji -- either a smile, frown or wink -- while their brain waves were recorded. They were also asked how they interpreted the meaning of the sentences.
"You can't just use a string of emojis, but when you pair emojis with words, they can enhance each other. The combined effect of written words plus emojis is bigger than words or emojis alone," the researchers stated.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)