Identifying Interpersonal Distance using Systemic Features

Maria Herke-Couchman, Casey Whitelaw, and Jon Patrick

This paper uses Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) theory as a basis for extracting semantic features of documents. We focus on the pronominal and determination system and the role it plays in constructing interpersonal distance. By using a hierarchical system model that represents the author’s language choices, it is possible to construct a rich and informative feature representation. Using these systemic features, we report clear separation between registers with different interpersonal distance.

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