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A corpus study has been carried out of children’s emoji usage by Internet Linguist, Gretchen McCulloch. Parents with young children were asked to submit examples of children’s electronic communication for the analysis. Many preliterate children send emoji-only text messages with ages 3 to 5 said to be the peak time for this. Examples of the children’s messages showed strings of emojis with some of them showing preferences for certain themes such as animals or hearts. Children appear to work through the emoji keyboard systematically with several putting the blue heart before the green heart, which is how they are ordered on many emoji keyboard apps. Children were found to use object emojis far more than adults or teens, and they prefer to use faces with the tongue stuck out or blowing a kiss. The seemingly random use of emojis at an early age is likened to babbling in spoken or signed languages. Read more here

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