Dimensions of Abusive Language on Twitter

Isobelle Clarke, Jack Grieve

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, we use a new categorical form of multidimensional register anal- ysis to identify the main dimensions of functional linguistic variation in a cor- pus of abusive language, consisting of racist and sexist Tweets. By analysing the use of a wide variety of parts-of- speech and grammatical constructions, as well as various features related to Twit- ter and computer-mediated communica- tion, we discover three dimensions of lin- guistic variation in this corpus, which we interpret as being related to the degree of interactive, antagonistic and attitudinal language exhibited by individual Tweets. We then demonstrate that there is a signif- icant functional difference between racist and sexist Tweets, with sexists Tweets tending to be more interactive and attitu- dinal than racist Tweets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the First Workshop on Abusive Language Online
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics, ACL
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1945626661
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2017
EventAnnual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 30 Jul 20174 Aug 2017


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics


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