Text topic: Minimalism
- pragmatic function
Text author: Биљана Радић-Бојанић
Online communication and all the innovations it brings open up many new fields of analysis in areas such as linguistics, psychology or sociology, as well as all their interdisciplinary combinations. One such innovation, to a greatest extent connected with the virtual world and virtual communication, is described in this paper. Emoticons are first defined and then their origin is presented, including the context in which they originated and the reasons for their popularity. The paper then addresses the evolution of the appearance of emoticons from the simplest graphic icons comprising of only punctuation, to the most diverse pictures and stickers representing various objects and concepts. Finally, three functions of emoticons are described in detail: conveying facial expressions, conveying emotions and expressing pragmatic functions such as positive attitudes, irony or hedges that either mitigate face threatening acts such as complaints or requests, or reinforce face saving acts such as promises or thanks.