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Emoticons in text may function like gestures in spoken or signed communication

  • Laurie Beth Feldman (a1) (a2), Cecilia R. Aragon (a3), Nan-Chen Chen (a3) and Judith F. Kroll (a4)


We draw parallels between emoticons in textual communication and gesture in signed language with respect to the interdependence of codes by describing two contexts under which the behavior of emoticons in textual communication resembles that of gesture in speech. Generalizing from those findings, we propose that gesture is likely characterized by a nuanced interdependence with language whether signed, spoken or texted.



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