The Interplay between Text and Emojis in Iraqi Telegram Group Chatting: A Pragmatic- Relevance Study


Internet-Mediated Communication (IMC) has entered a new era with the rise of emojis. These colourful signs are neither redundant nor decorative in nature. Instead, they possess a potential for affecting the final interpretation of the accompanying text. The current study probes the connectedness of emojis to textual exchanges in Telegram group chatting, namely the ostensible incongruity between text and emojis. It explores the influence that emojis posit on the user's intended meaning in Iraqi Telegram university chat group. Building on pragmatic, relevance-theoretic approach, data analysis was executed according to Yus's (2014) model, a version revised by Li and Yang (2018). The study addresses two research questions: (1) What kind of connection is there between text and emojis in Iraqi Telegram group chatting? and (2) What implications does the use of emojis have in Iraqi Telegram group chatting? The results the study came up with indicated that the apparent mismatch between text and emojis could be eliminated by marking a deeper meaning other than the one signaled by the surface meaning of the text. The results also showed that parallel emotion signal is the most significant function in the whole sample. The implication of this finding denotes that emojis were primarily utilized to convey a social meaning that is equivalent to the one depicted by facial expressions and body language in face-to-face conversations.