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Good Nouns, Bad Nouns : 

Good Nouns, Bad Nouns What the corpus says and what native speakers think Philip Dilts, University of Alberta Department of Linguistics AACL 2008, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT March 14, 2008

Overview : 

Overview Semantic Orientation Psychological measure of how good/bad a word is Semantic Preference Corpus-based measure of collocational preference How Semantic Orientation and Preference relate: The wrong story (abstract version) The right story (maybe?) How to get the right story

Semantic Orientation : 

Semantic Orientation Term from Hatzivassiloglou & McKeown (1997) How good or bad people feel about a word

Semantic Orientation : 

Semantic Orientation fun

Semantic Orientation : 

Semantic Orientation jail

Semantic Orientation : 

Semantic Orientation How good or bad people feel about a word: Out of context Psychologically real Osgood et al (1957) “Evaluative Factor” Experimentally determined E.g., ANEW (Bradley & Lang 1999) “…rate how you felt while reading each word: Happy vs. Unhappy”

ANEW Questionnaire : 

ANEW Questionnaire

Semantic Preference : 

Semantic Preference Collocational preference for a semantic category See, e.g, Partington (2004) The focus here: Preference for good/bad adjectives in adjective-noun sequences

Semantic Preference : 

Semantic Preference thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts

Semantic Preference : 

Semantic Preference thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts sad cruel morbid cold dirty i.e. nouns that collocate with many adjectives of one orientation

Semantic Preference : 

Semantic Preference thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts thoughts sad cruel morbid cold dirty sweet soothing i.e. nouns that collocate with many adjectives of one orientation ...and relatively few adjectives of the other orientation

Semantic Preference : 

Semantic Preference In this case, we would say ‘thoughts’ has a negative semantic preference How closely do preference and orientation correspond? Do good nouns prefer to collocate with good adjectives? Can good nouns prefer to collocate with bad adjectives?

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? Dilts & Newman (2006) Start with adjectives rated as good/bad Pairs of adjectives from Osgood et al. (1957) Find nouns that follow many good or bad adjectives in a corpus (BNC) Approximately, nouns that are consistently modified by good or bad evaluations

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? Surprising results: joke, grin, jokes, beast, thoughts, mistakes, laughter, head, shoulder, dreams 10 strongest negative preferences in the BNC Are these words consistently judged as negative by native speakers?

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? Pilot orientation study (Dilts & Newman 2008) Participants: 5 native English speakers Stimuli - 121 nouns: 25 nouns with most positive preference in BNC 25 nouns with most negative preference in BNC 71 filler nouns (strong preference by other methods) Method: ask participants to rate each noun as good/neutral/bad

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? conversation development assessment range community programme family setting support source response alternative home conditions mistakes delusion bastard injuries killer bruise blows cough beast moods lump moment laughter dreams truths legacy jokes logic joke grin gods Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? conversation development assessment range community programme family setting support source response alternative home conditions mistakes delusion bastard injuries killer bruise blows cough beast moods lump moment laughter dreams truths legacy jokes logic joke grin gods Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative Reinforcement

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? conversation development assessment range community programme family setting support source response alternative home conditions mistakes delusion bastard injuries killer bruise blows cough beast moods lump moment laughter dreams truths legacy jokes logic joke grin gods Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative transformation

Does Preference Match Orientation? : 

Does Preference Match Orientation? conversation development assessment range community programme family setting support source response alternative home conditions mistakes delusion bastard injuries killer bruise blows cough beast moods lump moment laughter dreams truths legacy jokes logic joke grin gods Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative transformation

Tentative Conclusions : 

Tentative Conclusions Nouns that speakers rate as good collocate with good adjectives, and vice versa i.e., nouns often collocate with adjectives that reinforce their orientation Many good nouns attract bad adjectives Good nouns collocate with adjectives that transform their orientation BUT: few bad nouns attract good adjectives Bad nouns don’t collocate (much) with adjectives that transform their orientation

Orientation DOES NOT Match Preference : 

Orientation DOES NOT Match Preference Is this the right story? We looked at only 50 nouns with extreme collocational preferences Noun orientation ratings came from a small, biased sample 5 linguistics grad students How can we get a better story? Better measure of orientation

ANEW : 

ANEW

ANEW : 

ANEW 1034 words rated for ‘pleasure’ Do they agree with our raters?

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

Did our participants agree with ANEW? ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

Did our participants agree with ANEW? ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

Did our participants agree with ANEW? ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference transformation

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

conversation development assessment range community programme family setting support source response alternative home conditions mistakes delusion bastard injuries killer bruise blows cough beast moods lump moment laughter dreams truths legacy jokes logic joke grin gods Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative transformation ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference …but only 10 of our 50 nouns were in ANEW For Dilts & Newman 2006, we established collocational preferences for >30,000 nouns More than 700 were rated in ANEW Does the mismatch hold for these nouns too?

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

10 nouns from Pilot study ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

734 nouns from Dilts & Newman (2006) ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference Everything is drawn upwards Nouns tend to collocate with positive adjectives

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference Many bad nouns attracting good adjectives More transformation here

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

conversation development assessment range community programme family setting support source response alternative home conditions mistakes delusion bastard injuries killer bruise blows cough beast moods lump moment laughter dreams truths legacy jokes logic joke grin gods Speaker ratings Good Bad Collocational preference Positive Negative More transformation here ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference Opposite to the previous mismatch!

ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference : 

Focusing on the extreme values selected outliers Negative preference nouns had less extreme values e.g. minimum preference was -4, maximum preference was 8 ANEW ratings vs. Collocational Preference

Conclusions : 

Conclusions The right story: General tendency for positive collocational preference Noun orientations are more often reinforced by collocating adjectives than transformed More bad nouns than good nouns are transformed by collocating adjectives

Future Work : 

Future Work Is this the right story? Preference based on adjective pairs Negative adjectives were usually lower frequency e.g., pure (3301) vs. impure (68) (BNC) We controlled for low frequency, but not 0 frequency ie. nouns that collocated with pure but not impure got full positive preference scores for that pair But nouns are more likely to collocate only with pure because of its higher frequency

Future Work : 

Future Work How to get the right story: Select pairs of good/bad adjectives ANEW? MPQA? Matched for frequency Matched for goodness/badness Find nouns with strong collocational preferences for these adjectives Use Collostructional Analysis (Stefanowitsch & Gries 2003) Profit

References : 

References Bradley, M.M., & Lang, P.J. (1999). Affective norms for English words (ANEW): Stimuli, instruction manual and affective ratings. Technical report C-1, Gainesville, FL. The Center for Research in Psychophysiology, University of Florida. Dilts, P. & J. Newman. 2008. Good Nouns, Bad Nouns, and the Company they Keep. Presentation at the 2008 Annual meeting of the LSA, Chicago, IL. Dilts, P. & J. Newman. 2006. A Note on Quantifying 'good' and 'bad' prosodies. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 2(2):233-242. Osgood, C. E., G.J. Suci & P.H. Tannenbaum. 1957. The Measurement of Meaning. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Partington, A. 2004. Utterly Content in Each Other’s Company. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 9:131-156 Stefanowitsch, A. & S.Th. Gries. 2003. Collostructions. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 8:209-243

Thanks! : 

Thanks! Members of the University of Alberta Department of Linguistics You!

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