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Abstract

Ideographs—such as emoji, emoticons, stickers, GIFs—play a significant part in today’s computer-mediated communications (CMCs). These new elements can be used for various pragmatic purposes, including conveying politeness. This paper, by investigating the CMCs in an online community that specialized in communications for gamers, successfully replicates the prior results of politeness function of emoji and emoticons. In addition, this paper demonstrates that when a speaker whose primary language has richer linguistic elements for politeness communicates politely in English, that speaker is more likely to use emoji and emoticons than a speaker whose primary language has less rich linguistic elements for politeness. The paper also simulates a simple listener model, which suggests that the presence emoji or emoticons may increase the likelihood of perceiving an utterance as politer.

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