A lexicon-based approach for detecting hedges in informal text

Jumayel Islam, Lu Xiao, Robert E. Mercer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Hedging is a commonly used strategy in conversational management to show the speaker's lack of commitment to what they communicate, which may signal problems between the speakers. Our project is interested in examining the presence of hedging words and phrases in identifying the tension between an interviewer and interviewee during a survivor interview. While there have been studies on hedging detection in the natural language processing literature, all existing work has focused on structured texts and formal communications. Our project thus investigated a corpus of eight unstructured conversational interviews about the Rwanda Genocide and identified hedging patterns in the interviewees' responses. Our work produced three manually constructed lists of hedge words, booster words, and hedging phrases. Leveraging these lexicons, we developed a rule-based algorithm that detects sentence-level hedges in informal conversations such as survivor interviews. Our work also produced a dataset of 3000 sentences having the categories Hedge and Non-hedge annotated by three researchers. With experiments on this annotated dataset, we verify the efficacy of our proposed algorithm. Our work contributes to the further development of tools that identify hedges from informal conversations and discussions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLREC 2020 - 12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Conference Proceedings
EditorsNicoletta Calzolari, Frederic Bechet, Philippe Blache, Khalid Choukri, Christopher Cieri, Thierry Declerck, Sara Goggi, Hitoshi Isahara, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Helene Mazo, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk, Stelios Piperidis
PublisherEuropean Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Pages3109-3113
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9791095546344
StatePublished - 2020
Event12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2020 - Marseille, France
Duration: May 11 2020May 16 2020

Publication series

NameLREC 2020 - 12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Conference Proceedings

Conference

Conference12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2020
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityMarseille
Period5/11/205/16/20

Keywords

  • Discourse Markers
  • Hedging
  • Informal conversation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Linguistics and Language

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