Visual Linguistic Analysis of Political Discussions: Measuring Deliberative Quality


April 1, 2017

Gold, Valentin, Mennatallah El-Assady, Annette Hautli-Janisz, Tina Bögel, Christian Rohrdantz, Miriam Butt, Katharina Holzinger, and Daniel A.Keim. “Visual Linguistic Analysis of Political Discussions: Measuring Deliberative Quality”. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 32(1), pp. 141–158. 2017.

This article reports on a Digital Humanities research project which is concerned with the automated linguistic and visual analysis of political discourses with a particular focus on the concept of deliberative communication. According to the theory of deliberative communication as discussed within political science, political debates should be inclusive and stakeholders participating in these debates are required to justify their positions rationally and respectfully and should eventually defer to the better argument. The focus of the article is on the novel interactive visualizations that combine linguistic and statistical cues to analyze the deliberative quality of communication automatically. In particular, we quantify the degree of deliberation for four dimensions of communication: Participation, Respect, Argumentation and Justification, and Persuasiveness. Yet, these four dimensions have not been linked within a combined linguistic and visual framework, but each single dimension helps determining the degree of deliberation independently from each other. Since at its core, deliberation requires sustained and appropriate modes of communication, our main contribution is the automatic annotation and disambiguation of causal connectors and discourse particles.

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