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PhD Defense

Natural Language Understanding through Emotions and Stylistic Elements

 

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 11:00am - 01:00pm

 

Speaker: Shahab Raji

Location : Via Zoom

Committee

Dr. Gerard de Melo (advisor)

Dr. Matthew Stone

Dr. Yongfeng Zhang

Dr. Smaranda Muresan(outside member)

Event Type: PhD Defense

Abstract: In the context of text understanding, computational methods are used to study how humans utilize stylistic elements (visual and rhetorical) in addition to language to express emotions and opinions. In this dissertation, I first explore to what extent distributional semantic models can capture the intensity of emotions in lexical items. Using human judgment as gold standard, I employ language models for word-level emotion intensity prediction and present a technique to attain an emotional database for more fine-grained and more accurate word-level emotion predictions. The results indicate that: 1) the sentiment score of words can improve distributional models for emotion classification, and 2) language models perform better in practice in comparison to the state-of-the-art lexicons. Next, I present a statistical analysis of the role of emojis in text as a visual element that conveys emotion. I show the strong connection between the emoji and emotions, and the syntactic role of emojis in the text. The empirical results illustrate that emojis are used mainly to intensify the emotion in a sentence; however, in some cases, they replace a word or phrase in the sentence or signal contrast in a sarcastic context. The last part of the dissertation is an analysis of stylistic and rhetorical elements in standard and poetic Persian text. I present a corpus of Persian literary text mainly focusing on poetry, covering the 7th to 21st century annotated for century and style, with additional partial annotation of rhetorical figures. I present several computational experiments to analyze poetic styles, authors, and periods, as well as context shifts over time.

Organization

Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences

Contact  Dr. Gerard de Melo

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