able to create embedded clauses like these. Could an emerging emoji visual language be developing in a similar way, with actual grammatical structure? The irony is that the focus on emoji has meant that many have neglected that we already have very robust visual languages, as can be seen in comics and graphic novels. Pageantry, Parasol, Percolator, Phantasmagoria, Pomp? I would also doubt that you would see the same kinds of brain responses that we saw with the comic strip sequences. As I argue in my book, The Visual Language of Comics, the drawings found in comics use a systematic visual vocabulary (such as stink lines to represent smell, or stars to represent dizziness). They have landed a teenage boy in a police cell and prompted Vladimir Putins wrath in Russia, and the loveable smiley faces are even set to come to life in their own Hollywood film. And what do they help us to express that words alone cant say? Over the past three decades, research has shown that our hands provide important information that often transcends and clarifies the message in speech. Their increasing popularity serves as a reminder that there is a lot more to our communication than words alone. In all cases, the doer of the action (the agent) precedes the action. Thats very similar to the clause in a sentence such as Calvin, who is a short blonde boy, was tackled by Hobbes.
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Emoji are not always used as embellishments, however sometimes, strings of the characters can themselves convey meaning in a longer sequence on their own. Importantly, the available vocabulary is not constrained by technology and has developed naturally over time, like race-suicide thesis spoken and written languages. Ledger, Office, Notebook, Journal, Ledger? Person, Gesture, Grimace, Pouting, Human? Trackball, Office, Computer, Trackball, Trackball?