Among new ways of expression emerging in computer-mediated communication (CMC), emojis have become extremely popular worldwide, particularly in interpersonal conversations. The ACCOMOJI project examines the ways in which people conversing in the Swiss national languages converge or diverge over time with regard to emoji usage, thereby managing social and emotional distance. Based on the What’s Up, Switzerland? Corpus of WhatsApp conversations, a citizen science approach will be taken to annotate emojis in terms of function and emotional content. Data science methods will then capture accommodation patterns in the annotated data and correlate them with demographic features. Besides an assessment of the appropriateness of various formal models and methods for addressing emotional aspects of interpersonal CMC, the project will result in a better understanding of citizen science practices and their applicability to language-related research in the Swiss multilingual context.
The project was funded by the UNIL-EPFL Collaborative Research on Science and Society (CROSS) Programme that supports interdisciplinary projects dealing with current issues in society and technology.