Towards Bootstrapping a Polarity Shifter Lexicon using Linguistic Features

In Proceedings of the 8th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (IJCNLP 2017).


We present a major step towards the creation of the first high-coverage lexicon of polarity shifters. In this work, we bootstrap a lexicon of verbs by exploiting various linguistic features. Polarity shifters, such as abandon, are similar to negations (e.g. not) in that they move the polarity of a phrase towards its inverse, as in abandon all hope. While there exist lists of negation words, creating comprehensive lists of polarity shifters is far more challenging due to their sheer number. On a sample of manually annotated verbs we examine a variety of linguistic features for this task. Then we build a supervised classifier to increase coverage. We show that this approach drastically reduces the annotation effort while ensuring a high-precision lexicon. We also show that our acquired knowledge of verbal polarity shifters improves phrase-level sentiment analysis.