Linguist 287 / CS 424P: Extracting Social Meaning and Sentiment

Brief description

Methods for extracting social meaning (speaker perspectives, emotions and attitudes) from text and speech. Topics include sentiment analysis and summarization, detection of deception, sarcasm, emotion, and personality. Analysis of meaning-bearing characteristics of the speaker and topic, including text, discourse, prosodic and other cues. 3 units.


CS 124 or 221 or 229 or permission of instructors.


  1. Read the papers and write 3 "questions or comments" on each reading. This means on weeks with 3 readings we expect 9 question/comments. The questions or comments can be short but should be substantive and suggestive, not just a summary of the paper. Since they are due before class, we will use them to inform our discussion of the papers.
    • The questions/comments should be posted to the class newsgroup, su.class.linguist287.
    • They are due Monday at 9:00pm the day before they are discussed in class
  2. Four data homeworks. Each one of these will require a small amount of work to learn about a data source. You will be asked to answer small questions and make note of interesting points you notice about the data. Be creative! You can talk to friends about the data, but the actual data homeworks must be your own work.
    • All homeworks are due by the start of class on the day they are due.
    • Submit all data homeworks by email to the course address:
    • Acceptable formats: txt, rtf, doc, docx, pdf.
    • Each assignment receives a score of Excellent, Good, or Below Average (or incomplete). The standard score of fully correct and expected work is Good. Only exceptional observations or above and beyond work will receive Excellent. This is meant as a rare high score. Good is expected in the vast majority of cases.
    • Late assignments score one level below normal (e.g. Good becomes Below Average).
  3. Literature review paper: a short 6-page single-spaced paper summarizing and synthesizing 5 papers on the area of your final project. This may be done in groups of up to three people (the same groups you use for your final project). Groups of two should review 6 papers, and groups of three should review 9. The ideal is to have the same topic for your lit review and final project, but it's possible that you'll discover in the lit review that you hate the topic and so it's allowable to switch topics (or groups) for the final project, if you want. Tips on major things to include:
    • General problem/task definition: what are these papers trying to solve? why?
    • Concise summaries of the articles: Do not simply copy the article text in full, we can read them ourselves. Put in your own words the major contributions of each article.
    • Compare and contrast: Probably the most interesting section, point out the similarities and differences of the papers. Do they agree with each other? Are results seemingly in conflict? If the papers address different subtasks, how are they related? (if they are not related, then you may have made poor choices for a lit review...).
    • Future work: Make several suggestions for how the work can be extended. Are there open questions to answer? This would presumably include how the papers relate to your final project idea.
  4. Final project: a research project due at the end of the quarter. Both the final project and the review paper may be done in groups. Details on writing and submitting the final paper. The course's exam period on Thursday, December 9, will be filled with short presentations of the final papers.


Your grade is determined based on:

HW assignments and question/comments are graded on a -/v/+ basis, where '-' is insufficient and '+' is exceptional.

Policy on late work

Each student will have a total of 4 free late (calendar) days applicable to any assignment except the final project. These can be used at any time, no questions asked. Each 24 hours or part thereof that a homework is late uses up one full late day. Once these late days are exhausted, any homework turned in late will be penalized 20% per late day. Late days are not applicable to final projects. If a group's assignment is late n days, then each group member is charged n late days.

Students with documented disabilities

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) located within the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). SDRC staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the SDRC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066).