Discovering the Functions of Language in Online Forums

Youmna Ismaeil, Oana Balalau, Paramita Mirza
Max Planck Institute for Informatics


In this work, we revisit the functions of language proposed by linguist Roman Jakobson and we highlight their potential in analyzing online forum conversations. We investigate the relationship between functions and other properties of comments, such as controversiality. We propose and evaluate a semi-supervised framework for predicting the functions of Reddit comments. To accommodate further research, we release a corpus of 165K comments annotated with their functions of language.