The Role of Pragmatic and Discourse Context in Determining Argument Impact

Esin Durmus, Faisal Ladhak, Claire Cardie


Abstract
Research in the social sciences and psychology has shown that the persuasiveness of an argument depends not only the language employed, but also on attributes of the source/communicator, the audience, and the appropriateness and strength of the argument’s claims given the pragmatic and discourse context of the argument. Among these characteristics of persuasive arguments, prior work in NLP does not explicitly investigate the effect of the pragmatic and discourse context when determining argument quality. This paper presents a new dataset to initiate the study of this aspect of argumentation: it consists of a diverse collection of arguments covering 741 controversial topics and comprising over 47,000 claims. We further propose predictive models that incorporate the pragmatic and discourse context of argumentative claims and show that they outperform models that rely only on claim-specific linguistic features for predicting the perceived impact of individual claims within a particular line of argument.
Anthology ID:
D19-1568
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)
Month:
November
Year:
2019
Address:
Hong Kong, China
Venues:
EMNLP | IJCNLP
SIG:
SIGDAT
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
5668–5678
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/D19-1568
DOI:
10.18653/v1/D19-1568
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Esin Durmus, Faisal Ladhak, and Claire Cardie. 2019. The Role of Pragmatic and Discourse Context in Determining Argument Impact. In Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP), pages 5668–5678, Hong Kong, China. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
The Role of Pragmatic and Discourse Context in Determining Argument Impact (Durmus et al., EMNLP 2019)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/D19-1568.pdf