A Cognitive Approach to Annotating Causal Constructions in a Cross-Genre Corpus

We present a scheme for annotating causal language in various genres of text. Our annotation scheme is built on the popular categories of cause, enable, and prevent. These vague categories have many edge cases in natural language, and as such can prove difficult for annotators to consistently identify in practice. We introduce a decision based annotation method for handling these edge cases. We demonstrate that, by utilizing this method, annotators are able to achieve inter-annotator agreement which is comparable to that of previous studies. Furthermore, our method performs equally well across genres, highlighting the robustness of our annotation scheme. Finally, we observe notable variation in usage and frequency of causal language across different genres.

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