Language politeness in students’ text messages sent to the lecturers through WhatsApp application: A sociopragmatic study

Miftahush Shalihah, Muhammad Nurdin Zuhdi


Students and lecturers often communicate, both in formal and semi-formal situations. Good communication between students and lecturers remains within the limits of politeness even though it is not in a formal situation. The existence of social media certainly facilitates communication between students and lecturers. This research aims to describe and analyze the politeness of language in short messages from students to lecturers through the WhatsApp application at Universitas 'Aisyiyah Yogyakarta (UNISA). This research employed a qualitative research. The data from this study were 105 conversations between lecturers and students through the WhatsApp messaging application. The analysis in this research was carried out to determine 1) obedience and violation to the tact maxim, generosity maxim, approbation maxim, modesty maxim, agreement maxim and sympathy maxim, 2) forms of language politeness, that are positive face and negative face, and 3) function of language politeness that are representative, directives, expressive, commisive and declaratives. The results showed that most of students used polite language in their text messages and used formal language which contained complete politeness expressions such as greetings, self-introductions, apologies at the beginning and/or at the end of text messages, intention in sending messages, thank you –note and closing. Most of the text employs positive face. Students’ text messages mostly function as representative and directives.


DOI: 10.26905/enjourme.v4i2.4926


politeness, language, whatsapp, students, lecturers


Brown, P. & Levinson, S. 1987. Politeness: Some Universal in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Coulmas, F. 2003. Sociolinguistics. The Handbook of Linguistics. Edited by Mark Aronoff and Janie Rees-Miller,pp.563-581. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.

Grundy, P. (1995). Doing pragmatics. New York: Routledge.

Holmes, J. 2001. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 2nd ed. London: Longman

Lailiyah, M. (2016). Content and Language Integrated Learning in Teaching English as Second Language: A Systematic Review of Empirically Based Articles. EnJourMe (English Journal of Merdeka) : Culture, Language, and Teaching of English, 1(1), 1–10.

Leech, G. 1983. Principles of Pragmatics. New York: Longman Library.

Ovilia, R., & Asfina, R. (2017). 21st Century Learning: Is ICT Really Integrated In EFL Classroom or Merely Segregated Outside The Classroom? EnJourMe (English Journal of Merdeka) : Culture, Language, and Teaching of English, 2(1), 1–17.

Searle, J. 1969. Speech Act. An Essay in the Philosophy Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Thomas, J. A. (1995). Meaning in interaction: An introduction to pragmatics. New York: Routledge.

Yule, G. 1996. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Face. Retrieved on 1 September 2020

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

EnJourMe (English Journal of Merdeka) : Culture, Language, and Teaching of English
D3 English Program University of Merdeka Malang



Jl. Terusan Halimun 11B Malang, 65146, East Java, Indonesia
Phone +62-899-0000-703

StatCounter - Free Web Tracker and Counter View My Stats


EnJourMe (English Journal of Merdeka) : Culture, Language, and Teaching of English is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share A like 4.0 International License. Licensed under  Creative Commons License a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright ©2020 University of Merdeka Malang Powered by Open Journal Systems.