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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Subjectivity detection in spoken and written conversations
Author: Gabriel Murray
Institution: University of British Columbia
Author: Giuseppe Carenni
Institution: University of British Columbia
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics
Abstract: In this work we investigate four subjectivity and polarity tasks on spoken and written conversations. We implement and compare several pattern-based subjectivity detection approaches, including a novel technique wherein subjective patterns are learned from both labeled and unlabeled data, using n-gram word sequences with varying levels of lexical instantiation. We compare the use of these learned patterns with an alternative approach of using a very large set of raw pattern features. We also investigate how these pattern-based approaches can be supplemented and improved with features relating to conversation structure. Experimenting with meeting speech and email threads, we find that our novel systems incorporating varying instantiation patterns and conversation features outperform state-of-the-art systems despite having no recourse to domain-specific features such as prosodic cues and email headers. In some cases, such as when working with noisy speech recognizer output, a small set of well-motivated conversation features performs as well as a very large set of raw patterns.


This article appears IN Natural Language Engineering Vol. 17, Issue 3.

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