Posts in Emotion
Extreme language in presidential debates: Reagan, Trump and everyone in betwee

If you follow politics in America even a little bit, you know that Republicans talk a lot about taxes and that Donald Trump loves the word tremendous. But how do these rank relative to each other and to what Democrats (and Hillary Clinton, in particular) tend to talk about? Well, one finding is that over the years, Republican candidates have been even more preoccupied with Hillary Clinton than they have been with Ronald Reagan. Another finding is that the debates for the current election have been ~157% more negative than all previous debates.

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Nattering Nabobs of Negativity: Bigrams, “Nots,” and Text Classification

You can get pretty far in text classification just by treating documents as bags of words where word order doesn’t matter. So you’d treat “It’s not reliable and it’s not cheap” the same as “It’s cheap and it’s not not reliable”, even though the first is an strong indictment and the second is a qualified recommendation. Surely it’s dangerous to ignore the ways words come together to make meaning, right?

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Which new emoji will be the most popular?

June 21st is the release of Unicode 9, which will feature 72 new emoji–folks at Emojipedia have helpfully put them all together. The question in this blog post is: which ones will turn out to be the most popular? (Note that most people aren’t going to be able to use them immediately–you have to get an update of your phone/browser for them to show up and so will anyone you want to send them to.)

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Emotions are relational: positioning and the use of affective linguistic resources

(Download my dissertation here)

To understand human beings is to understand the variety and complexity of emotional experiences they have. Understanding how language is both shaped by and used in creating and coping with these experiences is the focus of this dissertation. It offers three case studies about affective linguistic resources, advancing a theoretical framework (positioning) and a series of quantitative methodologies that grow out of information-theoretic approaches to language.

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The social meaning of tempo

(Download the paper! Or, for the presentation version of this from NWAV 2010)

Speech tempo can be deployed consciously to achieve particular effects, but it can also send cues to listeners that the speaker didn’t intend to convey. What this means for us is that tempo is a stylistic resource, expressive for both speakers and listeners— creating expectations about the speaker and their attitude toward a situation and audience. These expressions, however, don’t happen in a vacuum. The use of tempo reflects and constructs various ideologies, allowing tempo to signal emotional state, occupation, geographical origin, ethnic identification, and more.

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