Ling 354: Week 3

[This is extracted from the Spring 2022 version on Canvas, so some links/formatting may be broken.]

In our Week 3 meeting, we’ll first wrap up emoji, including digging a bit deeper into how deeply we share our understanding of emoji. We’ll then turn to the QWERTY effect, research that argues that the ways we type language has a subtle but significant influence on our perception of it. 

Textbook reading

No textbook reading for this week.  

Additional articles/videos

We’ll start class by discussing the Bai et al 2019 paper (A Systematic Review of Emoji: Current Research and Future Perspectives) that I’d meant to get to last class. Hopefully, you’ve already read it, but here’s the links again in case it’s helpful (HTML).

A couple people in the pre-class discussion had questions about a point that Bai et al made, which is that emoji are prone to “inefficiency” and “misunderstanding”. I’ll be honest: I was also confused by Bai et al’s discussion on this point. So I went back to the papers they cited, and I found one that both clarifies this point and is interesting in its own right: Tigwell & Flatla 2016. We’ll discuss this paper alongside the Bai et al one, and talk more generally about how messages are understood and misunderstood. (Optionally, if you’re interested in these issues, you may also want to read this paper.)

For the QWERTY effect, we’ll be reading an original research paper: Jasmin and Casasanto 2012. The statistical analysis in this paper may be a little tough if you’re not familiar with such things, so if you’re feeling stuck, focus on the higher-level concepts over the specific results. What is the QWERTY effect supposed to be? What do J&C think might cause it? How do they propose testing it? Do you find their methods convincing? How could you adapt this work to investigate languages/cultures with other keyboards and other writing systems?