Emoji Semantics 🌱

One of my current research interests is the development of a formal semantics for emojis. My research currently spans two research areas: activity emojis (⚽️, 🏄🏽‍♀️, 🎻), analyzed as event descriptions, and face emojis (😊, 😄, 🤔), analyzed as expressive modifiers. Find out more by taking a look at the links below.


I am a co-PI, together with Tatjana Scheffler (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), of the project EmDiCom (“Semantics and Pragmatics of Emojis in Digital Communication”), within the newly established DFG priority program ViCom (“Visual Communication. Theoretical, Empirical, and Applied Perspectives”). Project abstract: https://vicom.info/semantics-and-pragmatics-of-emojis-in-digital-communication/

Face Emojis

Grosz, Patrick (submitted): Expressivity and Emojis. Submitted for The Oxford Handbook of Expressivity edited by Daniel Gutzmann. [https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/007419]

Fricke, Lea, Patrick Georg Grosz, Tatjana Scheffler (2024): Semantic differences in visually similar face emojis. Language and Cognition. [https://doi.org/10.1017/langcog.2024.12]

Grosz, Patrick, Gabriel Greenberg, Christian De Leon, and Elsi Kaiser (2023): A semantics of face emoji in discourse. Linguistics and Philosophy. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-022-09369-8]

Classifying Emojis Based on their Semantics

Grosz, Patrick, Elsi Kaiser, and Francesco Pierini (2023): ‘Discourse anaphoricity vs. perspective sensitivity in emoji semantics’. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 8(1). [https://doi.org/10.16995/glossa.9128]

Grosz, Patrick, Elsi Kaiser, and Francesco Pierini (2021): ‘Discourse anaphoricity and first-person indexicality in emoji resolution’, in Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 25, 340-357. [https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2021.v25i0.941]

Kaiser, Elsi, and Patrick Grosz (2021): Anaphoricity in emoji: An experimental investigation of face and non-face emoji. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 6, 1009-1023. [https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i1.5067]

Connecting Emojis to Natural Language Semantics

Grosz, Patrick (2022): Emojis and conditionals: Exploring the super linguistic interplay of pictorial modifiers and conditional meaning. Linguistics Vanguard. [https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2021-0123]

Beat-related Face Emojis

Patrick Grosz, Elsi Kaiser, and Francesco Pierini (2022): Beat-related face emoji in multimodal written communication. Presentation at Workshop “Visual Communication. New Theoretical and Empirical Developments (ViCom)”, Workshop at the Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society 2022 (DGfS 44), University of Tübingen, 23-25 February 2022. [Presentation slides: https://vicominfo.files.wordpress.com/2022/03/slides-vicom-grosz-kaiser-pierini-website.pdf]