Personal Narrative (PN) is the recollection of individuals’ life experiences, events, and thoughts along with the associated emotions in the form of a story. Compared to other genres such as social media texts or microblogs, where people write about experienced events or products, the spoken PNs are complex to analyze and understand. They are usually long and unstructured, involving multiple and related events, characters as well as thoughts and emotions associated with events, objects, and persons. In spoken PNs, emotions are conveyed by changing the speech signal characteristics as well as the lexical content of the narrative. In this work, we annotate a corpus of spoken personal narratives, with the emotion valence using discrete values. The PNs are segmented into speech segments, and the annotators annotate them in the discourse context, with values on a 5-point bipolar scale ranging from -2 to +2 (0 for neutral). In this way, we capture the unfolding of the PNs events and changes in the emotional state of the narrator. We perform an in-depth analysis of the inter-annotator agreement, the relation between the label distribution w.r.t. the stimulus (positive/negative) used for the elicitation of the narrative, and compare the segment-level annotations to a baseline continuous annotation. We find that the neutral score plays an important role in the agreement. We observe that it is easy to differentiate the positive from the negative valence while the confusion with the neutral label is high. Keywords: Personal Narratives, Emotion Annotation, Segment Level Annotation
Deep Neural Networks (DNN) models have achieved acceptable performance in sentiment prediction of written text. However, the output of these machine learning (ML) models cannot be natively interpreted. In this paper, we study how the sentiment polarity predictions by DNNs can be explained and compare them to humans’ explanations. We crowdsource a corpus of Personal Narratives and ask human judges to annotate them with polarity and select the corresponding token chunks - the Emotion Carriers (EC) - that convey narrators’ emotions in the text. The interpretations of ML neural models are carried out through Integrated Gradients method and we compare them with human annotators’ interpretations. The results of our comparative analysis indicate that while the ML model mostly focuses on the explicit appearance of emotions-laden words (e.g. happy, frustrated), the human annotator predominantly focuses the attention on the manifestation of emotions through ECs that denote events, persons, and objects which activate narrator’s emotional state.
We are interested in the problem of understanding personal narratives (PN) - spoken or written - recollections of facts, events, and thoughts. For PNs, we define emotion carriers as the speech or text segments that best explain the emotional state of the narrator. Such segments may span from single to multiple words, containing for example verb or noun phrases. Advanced automatic understanding of PNs requires not only the prediction of the narrator’s emotional state but also to identify which events (e.g. the loss of a relative or the visit of grandpa) or people (e.g. the old group of high school mates) carry the emotion manifested during the personal recollection. This work proposes and evaluates an annotation model for identifying emotion carriers in spoken personal narratives. Compared to other text genres such as news and microblogs, spoken PNs are particularly challenging because a narrative is usually unstructured, involving multiple sub-events and characters as well as thoughts and associated emotions perceived by the narrator. In this work, we experiment with annotating emotion carriers in speech transcriptions from the Ulm State-of-Mind in Speech (USoMS) corpus, a dataset of PNs in German. We believe this resource could be used for experiments in the automatic extraction of emotion carriers from PN, a task that could provide further advancements in narrative understanding.