Pragmatic Functions of Emojis in Online Learning Communication: Cyberpragmatics Study

Elen Inderasari, Arina Rohmatika, Hari Kusmanto


This study aims to describe the pragmatic functions of emojis in online learning communication. The approach used in this research was descriptive qualitative. The data of this research are emojis used in online learning communication. The source of data was in the form of messages between lecturer and undergraduates in online learning. The data of this research were collected using documentation, observation, and note-taking methods. The data analysis was carried out using referential equivalent and pragmatic equivalent methods. The results of this study indicate that the functions of emojis in learning communication with this cyberpragmatics perspective are for (1) apologizing, (2) showing gratitude, (3) showing doubt, (4) showing joyfulness, (5) praying, (6) showing sadness, and (7) showing happiness.


Emoji; Communication; Online Learning; Cyber Pragmatics

Full Text:



Agustina, R., Santosa, P. I., & Ferdiana, R. (2016). Sejarah, tantangan, dan faktor keberhasilan dalam pengembangan e-learning. SESINDO 2016, 2016.

Al Rashdi, F. (2018). Functions of emojis in WhatsApp interaction among Omanis. Discourse, Context & Media, 26, 117–126.

Al Zidjaly, N. (2017). Memes as reasonably hostile laments: A discourse analysis of political dissent in Oman. Discourse & Society, 28(6), 573–594.

Arfan, H. H., Misnawati, Sakkir, G., Puspita, N., Akbar, Z., Asriadi, & Yusriadi, Y. (2021). Student Learning Interest in Covid-19 Pandemic Age by Blended E-Learning (Asynchronous and Synchronous). Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Singapore.

Banegas, D. L. (2020). Qualitative research topics in language teacher education (Book Review). Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 43, 100826. /j.jeap.2019.100826.

Darics, E. (2010). Politeness in computer-mediated discourse of a virtual team.

Dresner, E., & Herring, S. C. (2010). Functions of the Nonverbal in CMC: Emoticons and Illocutionary Force. Communication Theory, 20(3), 249–268.

Erle, T. M., Schmid, K., Goslar, S. H., & Martin, J. D. (2021). Emojis as social information in digital communication. Emotion.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning how to mean: Explorations in the development of language. New York: Elsevier North-Holland.

Jamshed, S. (2014). Qualitative research method-interviewing and observation. Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacy, 5(4), 87.

Kavanagh, B. (2010). A cross-cultural analysis of Japanese and English non-verbal online communication: The use of emoticons in weblogs. Intercultural Communication Studies, 19(3), 65–80.

Kaye, L. K., Rodriguez-Cuadrado, S., Malone, S. A., Wall, H. J., Gaunt, E., Mulvey, A. L., & Graham, C. (2021). How emotional are emoji?: Exploring the effect of emotional valence on the processing of emoji stimuli. Computers in Human Behavior, 116, 106648. 10.1016/j.chb.2020.106648.

Kusmanto, H., & Widodo, P. (2022). Positive Politeness Strategies during Online Learning: A Cyberpragmatic Study. Studies in English Language and Education, 9(3), 1170–1182.

Leech, G. N. (2014). The pragmatics of politeness. Oxford Studies in Sociolinguis.

Mahsun, M. S. (2014). Metode Penelitian Bahasa Metode Penelitian Bahasa: Tahapan Strategi Metode dan Tekniknya. Raja Grafindo Persada.

Maíz-Arévalo, C. (2015). Typographic Alteration in Formal Computer-mediated Communication. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 212, 140–145. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.11.311.

McShane, L., Pancer, E., Poole, M., & Deng, Q. (2021). Emoji, Playfulness, and Brand Engagement on Twitter. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 53, 96–110.

Moodie, I. (2020). Qualitative research topics in language teacher education language teacher education (Book Review). System, 90, 102239.

Peng, D., & Zhao, H. (2021). Seq2Emoji: A hybrid sequence generation model for short text emoji prediction. Knowledge-Based Systems, 214, 106727. 10.1016/j.knosys.2020.106727.

Pfeifer, V. A., Armstrong, E. L., & Lai, V. T. (2022). Do all facial emojis communicate emotion? The impact of facial emojis on perceived sender emotion and text processing. Computers in Human Behavior, 126, 107016.

Rahardi, R. (2019). Mendeskripsi Peran Konteks Pragmatik: Menuju Perspektif Cyberpragmatics. Transformatika: Jurnal Bahasa, Sastra, Dan Pengajarannya (Terakreditasi Sinta-3), 3(2), 164–178.

Riordan, M. A. (2017). Emojis as tools for emotion work: Communicating affect in text messages. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 36(5), 549–567.

Rodrigues, D. L., Cavalheiro, B. P., & Prada, M. (2022). Emoji as Icebreakers? Emoji can signal distinct intentions in first time online interactions. Telematics and Informatics, 69, 101783.

Rong, S., Wang, W., Mannan, U. A., de Almeida, E. S., Zhou, S., & Ahmed, I. (2022). An empirical study of emoji use in software development communication. Information and Software Technology, 148, 106912.

Sakai, N. (2013). The role of sentence closing as an emotional marker: A case of Japanese mobile phone e-mail. Discourse, Context & Media, 2(3), 149–155. j.dcm.2013.07.001.

Sampietro, A. (2019). Emoji and rapport management in Spanish WhatsApp chats. Journal of Pragmatics, 143, 109–120.

Scheffler, T., Brandt, L., Fuente, M. de la, & Nenchev, I. (2022). The processing of emoji-word substitutions: A self-paced-reading study. Computers in Human Behavior, 127(August 2021), 107076.

Schmidt, M., de Rose, J. C., & Bortoloti, R. (2021). Relating, orienting and evoking functions in an IRAP study involving emotional pictographs (emojis) used in electronic messages. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 21(May 2020), 80–87.

Sudaryanto. (2015). Metode dan Aneka Teknik Analisis Bahasa: Pengantar Penelitian Wahana Kebudayaan Secara Linguistik. Sanata Dharma University Press.

Thompson, D., & Filik, R. (2016). Sarcasm in Written Communication: Emoticons are Efficient Markers of Intention. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 21(2), 105–120. https://doi. org/10.1111/jcc4.12156.

Vandergriff, I. (2013). Emotive communication online: A contextual analysis of computer-mediated communication (CMC) cues. Journal of Pragmatics, 51, 1–12.

Yus, F. (2011). Cyberpragmatics. Internet-mediated communication in context. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Yus, F. (2014). Not all emoticons are created equal. Linguagem Em (Dis) Curso, 14, 511–529.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.