Measuring Diachronic Evolution of Evaluative Adjectives with Word Embeddings: the Case for English, Norwegian, and Russian

Julia Rodina, Daria Bakshandaeva, Vadim Fomin, Andrey Kutuzov, Samia Touileb, Erik Velldal


Abstract
We measure the intensity of diachronic semantic shifts in adjectives in English, Norwegian and Russian across 5 decades. This is done in order to test the hypothesis that evaluative adjectives are more prone to temporal semantic change. To this end, 6 different methods of quantifying semantic change are used. Frequency-controlled experimental results show that, depending on the particular method, evaluative adjectives either do not differ from other types of adjectives in terms of semantic change or appear to actually be less prone to shifting (particularly, to ‘jitter’-type shifting). Thus, in spite of many well-known examples of semantically changing evaluative adjectives (like ‘terrific’ or ‘incredible’), it seems that such cases are not specific to this particular type of words.
Anthology ID:
W19-4725
Volume:
Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change
Month:
August
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venues:
ACL | WS
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
202–209
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/W19-4725
DOI:
10.18653/v1/W19-4725
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/W19-4725.pdf