Exploring cultural differences in language usage: The case of negation

Svetlozara Stoytcheva, Dov Cohen, Catherine Blake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Prior research suggests that speakers of Asian languages are more likely to use negation than English speakers. Our goal in this work is to explore this theory using empirical data from news stories. Specifically, we used natural language processing to compare negation usage in two newspapers: the New York Times and Xinhua News (English Edition). Overall, negation represents 0.55% of typed dependencies in the New York Times (versus 0.18% in Xinhua News). Additionally, 9.28% of sentences and 86.56% of articles in the New York Times contain one or more instances of negation (compared to 3.33% of sentences and 24.94% of articles in Xinhua News). In contrast to the prevalent theory, negation is approximately three times more common in the New York Times than in Xinhua News (English Edition).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Keywords

  • Language & culture
  • Natural language processing
  • Text mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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