An Empirical Analysis of Formality in Online Communication

Ellie Pavlick, Joel Tetreault


This paper presents an empirical study of linguistic formality. We perform an analysis of humans’ perceptions of formality in four different genres. These findings are used to develop a statistical model for predicting formality, which is evaluated under different feature settings and genres. We apply our model to an investigation of formality in online discussion forums, and present findings consistent with theories of formality and linguistic coordination.


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