Figurative Language in Emotion Expressions

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the use of figurative language in expressing emotions in social media. Based on the analysis of 300 posts from, we argue that there is a close interaction between figurative language and emotion. It is found that 27% of the posts contain figurative devices such as metaphor, simile, rhetorical questions, and irony. Among the five basic emotions, the emotion of anger has the greatest tendency to be expressed via the figurative devices, followed by sadness, fear, surprise, and happiness. In addition, the data shows that rhetorical questions are the most frequently used figurative device for evoking negative emotions, i.e. anger and sadness. We believe that the linguistic account of figurative language in emotion expressions will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the existing automatic emotion classification systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Lexical Semantics - 18th Workshop, CLSW 2017, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsYunfang Wu, Qi Su, Jia-Fei Hong
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783319735726
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Event18th Chinese Lexical Semantics Workshop, CLSW 2017 - Leshan, China
Duration: 18 May 201720 May 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10709 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference18th Chinese Lexical Semantics Workshop, CLSW 2017


  • Emotion Expression
  • Figurative Language
  • Social Media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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