Annotating Argumentation in the Wild

This project aims to build and analyze an annotated corpus of naturally occurring argumentative discourse in online communities. Drawing on advances in computational sociolinguistics, we explore the affordances of using online communities such as Reddit as a data source for studying argumentation in the wild. After extracting discourse data from Reddit forum discussions, we (a) annotate the data for statement types and argument types; and (b) investigate the extent to which these statement types and argument types correlate with specific linguistic markers in the construction of argumentation. In this way, we aim to shed light on the extent to which argumentation in online settings is similar to or different from arguments in other types of discourse. Finally, we extend the project’s scope towards applying the analysis of argument types on Reddit to the study of language attitudes and ideologies and the values different types of language are associated with.

Annotation tool for argumentation

Kasper Welbers, together with Viktorija Kostadinova and Jean Wagemans, is developing a tool for annotating argumentative discourse. Based on an existing annotation tool, it enables the user to apply labels and relations specific to PTA-based argument analysis (such as subject, predicate, statement of fact/value/policy, and lever).

Research internships

Emily Duckett contributes to the project by developing explicit guidelines and more efficient strategies for annotating natural argumentative discourse using the Periodic Table of Arguments (PTA).  These guidelines will be used with the annotation tool to facilitate the creation of an annotated corpus of online argumentative discussion data.

Ermioni Seremeta contributed to the guidelines by providing specific instructions for annotating statement types (fact, value, policy) based on her project on linguistic models of the three types.

Activities and publications

Workshop Talk – K. Welbers (2023). Presenting an annotation tool for argumentation. LANCAR Annotation Workshop. University of Amsterdam, April 6, 2023.

Workshop Talk – E. Duckett & E. Seremeta (2023). Annotation guidelines. LANCAR Annotation Workshop. University of Amsterdam, April 6, 2023.

Workshop Talk – V. Kostadinova (2023). Analyzing annotated data. LANCAR Annotation Workshop. University of Amsterdam, April 6, 2023.

Workshop Talk – D. Ceolin (2023). Information quality and crowd annotation. LANCAR Annotation Workshop. University of Amsterdam, April 6, 2023.

Seminar Talk – E. Duckett (2023). Guidelines for annotating natural argumentative discourse. LANCAR Seminar. University of Amsterdam, January 27, 2023.

Workshop Talk – V. Kostadinova & J.H.M. Wagemans (2022). Statement type annotation. Workshop “Empirical studies of discourse and argumentation in public policy: Multidisciplinary and Multilingual Perspectives”. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Brescia. September 8, 2022.

Journal Article – Visser, J., Lawrence, J., Reed, C.A., Wagemans, J.H.M., & Walton, D.N. (2021). Annotating argument schemes. Published online May 7, 2020. Argumentation, 35, 101–139.