Target Based Speech Act Classification in Political Campaign Text

We study pragmatics in political campaign text, through analysis of speech acts and the target of each utterance. We propose a new annotation schema incorporating domain-specific speech acts, such as commissive-action, and present a novel annotated corpus of media releases and speech transcripts from the 2016 Australian election cycle. We show how speech acts and target referents can be modeled as sequential classification, and evaluate several techniques, exploiting contextualized word representations, semi-supervised learning, task dependencies and speaker meta-data.

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