The Interplay Between Emojis and Linguistic Text

Yan Ping Helena Lau, Yat Mei Lee

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This paper examines the interplay between emojis and the accompanying linguistic text when the two channels disagree with each other. In general, emojis are typically regarded as an explicit way to convey a specific emotion. However, it is observed that emojis, even of low ambiguity, may not explicitly express a corresponding emotion in a message. Based on the 831 comments extracted from Sina Weibo, we argue that the interplay between an emoji and its accompanying text may influence the expressed emotion. When the two channels mismatch, the overall emotion is often determined by the emotion expressed in the text regardless of the emotion type. It is observed that emojis expressing happiness occur most frequently in text expressing other emotions, as compared to emojis of other emotions. Moreover, emojis representing happiness are particularly common in text expressing anger. The overall emotion is mostly determined by the text (i.e. anger), meaning that the emojis representing happiness are frequently used ironically. We believe that this paper will lay the groundwork for the studies of emotion detection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese Lexical Semantics
Subtitle of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-81197-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-81196-9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021


  • Emotion analysis
  • Emoticon
  • Emoji
  • Social media


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