Contemporary dictionary-based approaches to sentiment analysis exhibit serious validity problems when applied to specialized vocabularies, but human-coded dictionaries for such applications are often labor-intensive and inefficient to develop. We demonstrate the validity of minimally-supervised approaches for the creation of a sentiment dictionary from a corpus of text drawn from a specialized vocabulary. We demonstrate the validity of this approach in estimating sentiment from texts in a large-scale benchmarking dataset recently introduced in computational linguistics, and demonstrate the improvements in accuracy of our approach over well-known standard (nonspecialized) sentiment dictionaries. Finally, we show the usefulness of our approach in an application to the specialized language used in US federal appellate court decisions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations