Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 595–614 | Cite as

On the difficulty of automatically detecting irony: beyond a simple case of negation

Regular Paper

Abstract

It is well known that irony is one of the most subtle devices used to, in a refined way and without a negation marker, deny what is literally said. As such, its automatic detection would represent valuable knowledge regarding tasks as diverse as sentiment analysis, information extraction, or decision making. The research described in this article is focused on identifying key values of components to represent underlying characteristics of this linguistic phenomenon. In the absence of a negation marker, we focus on representing the core of irony by means of three conceptual layers. These layers involve 8 different textual features. By representing four available data sets with these features, we try to find hints about how to deal with this unexplored task from a computational point of view. Our findings are assessed by human annotators in two strata: isolated sentences and entire documents. The results show how complex and subjective the task of automatically detecting irony could be.

Keywords

Irony detection Negation Figurative language processing 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research work of Paolo Rosso was done in the framework of the European Commission WIQ-EI Web Information Quality Evaluation Initiative (IRSES grant no. 269180) project within the FP 7 Marie Curie People, the DIANA-APPLICATIONS - Finding Hidden Knowledge in Texts: Applications (TIN2012-38603-C02-01) project, and the VLC/CAMPUS Microcluster on Multimodal Interaction in Intelligent Systems.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Tecnologías LingüísticasInstituto Superior de Intérpretes y TraductoresMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Natural Language Engineering Lab, ELIRF, DSICUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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