1er Seminario Internacional sobre el Discurso en Twitter

Michele Zappavigna

University of New South Wales

Emoji in social media discourse about working from home 🏠💻

In this talk I will introduce a social semiotic framework for analysing the functions of emoji in digital discourse about working from home (WFH). This is an important and prevalent discourse in the on-going COVID-19 pandemic due to widespread ‘lockdowns’ aimed at reducing the spread of the virus which have had a profound impact upon how and where people work. My focus will be on how people use emoji to express meanings about their everyday lives in a large corpus of tweets about WFH. This exploration involves corpus-based discourse analysis focused on how language and emoji coordinate to make meaning, and draws on the concept of ‘intermodal coupling’ to understand the convergence of meaning across semiotic modes. I will also consider the role of visual images in this coordination.



Michele Zappavigna is an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Her research focuses on the discourse of social media, from a linguistic and multimodal perspective. She is interested in how people use semiotic resources to enact ambient affiliation. Her work offers a social semiotic perspective on social media, covering areas such as social photography and selfies, metadiscourse and hashtags, and multimodality and memes. Recent books include: Searchable Talk: Hashtags and Social Media Metadiscourse, Discourse of Twitter and Social Media, Researching Language and Social Media (with Page, Unger & Barton), Tacit Knowledge and Spoken Discourse, and Discourse and Diversionary Justice: An Analysis of Ceremonial Redress in Youth Justice Conferencing (with J.R. Martin).