Introducing a Lexicon of Verbal Polarity Shifters for English


The sentiment polarity of a phrase does not only depend on the polarities of its words, but also on how these are affected by their context. Negation words (e.g. not, no, never) can change the polarity of a phrase. Similarly, verbs and other content words can also act as polarity shifters (e.g. fail, deny, alleviate). While individually more sparse, they are far more numerous. Among verbs alone, there are more than 1200 shifters. However, sentiment analysis systems barely consider polarity shifters other than negation words. A major reason for this is the scarcity of lexicons and corpora that provide information on them. We introduce a lexicon of verbal polarity shifters that covers the entirety of verbs found in WordNet. We provide a fine-grained annotation of individual word senses, as well as information for each verbal shifter on the syntactic scopes that it can affect.

In Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018).