Functions of the Most Frequent Emoticons in the Lithuanian Text


  • Regina Sabonytė



jausmaženkliai, jausmaženklių funkcijos, elektroninė komunikacija


Emoticons are considered to be a useful way to express non-verbal information in electronic discourse. However, detailed analysis of the usage of emoticons has not been done by Lithuanian linguists so far. The aim of the research is to identify emoticons that are used in internet discussions most frequently and to determine their functions in a text. The research material consists of 450 comments from the internet forum, all comments were written during the period of the year 2010–2015. Comments were taken from the discussions about diseases, nutrition, movies, religion, spirituality, studies, sports, cars, computer games, finances. The overall length of the texts of each topic is 1300–1600 words. The method of the research is corpus linguistics.

The analysis of comments revealed that there are six emoticons used in internet discussions most frequently: :), :D, ;), :P, :/ and :(. They can: a) strengthen or repeat emotional content of written information; b) reveal writer’s attitude or evaluation of written information which could be difficult to identify without emoticons; c) function as markers at the end of sentence. Emoticons ;) and :) have wider meaning: they can also be used with phrases of politeness or help to connect with other participants of discussion as well as soften negative information.