ResearchBib Share Your Research, Maximize Your Social Impacts
Sign for Notice Everyday Sign up >> Login

The difference in positivity of the Russian and English lexicon: The big data approach

Journal: Russian Journal of Linguistics (Vol.28, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 266-293

Keywords : sentiment; dictionaries; the Pollyanna principle; linguistic relativity; translated texts;

Source : Download Find it from : Google Scholarexternal


Psychological cross-cultural studies have long noted differences in the degree of cognition positivity, or optimism, in various cultures. Herewith, the question whether the difference shows up at the level of the language lexicon remains unexplored. Linguistic positivity bias has been confirmed for a number of languages. The point of it is that most words have a positive connotation in the language. This begs the question: is linguistic positivity bias the same for different languages or not? In a sense, the issue is similar to the hypothesis of linguistic relativity suggesting the language impact on the human cognitive system. The problem has been researched only in one work (Dodds et al. 2015), where data on the positivity bias values are given for different languages and the comparison for each pair of languages is based on merely one pair of dictionaries. In the present study, we radically increase the computational baseline by comparing four English and five Russian dictionaries. We carry out the comparative study both at the level of vocabularies and at the level of texts of different genres. A new, previously untapped idea is to compare positivity ratings of translated texts. Also, English and Russian sentiment dictionaries are compared based on the scores of translation-stable words. The results suggest that the Russian language is somewhat slightly more positive than English at the level of vocabulary.

Last modified: 2024-06-11 18:09:32