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Investigating Emojilized Chinese with New Grammatical Functions

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DOI: 10.25236/iwass.2021.019


Zixin Qiao, Shuya Ma

Corresponding Author

Shuya Ma


This study proposed the new grammatical functions of emojilized Chinese – the Chinese character on the emoji icon, in this case, “ke”(can), “de”(got) and “you”(have). Apart from the icon itself, the linguistic content of character emoji showing dual functions in the language use – as an emoji, and also Chinese. This study pays close attention to the usage of “ke”, “de” and “you”. The current usage tends to put the “you”(have) and “de”(got) at the clause-final position – which could be ungrammatical in the formal written form; whereas “ke” (can) could either occurred at the clause-final or in the preverbal position, functioning as adjectives and modal word. The authors propose that the interaction between emojilized character and the formal written form of Chinese will contribute novel meanings to Chinese grammar, and the impact has already shown in the mainland China social media context. As a ‘language tattoo’ on emoji, the emojilized character is also the language ‘opportunity’ in human communication.


Emoji, Emojilized Chinese, Modals