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ONR Political Crisis and Language


This project continues work from a previous NSF Minerva grant Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes (NSF#0904909) to analyze the speeches of international actors to detect motives, identify threats, and find predictive patterns of language and behavior. The project has three components: identifying language patterns related to armed political crises; identifying bluffs and threats pertinent to both national and international security; and analyzing the relationship between language and contentious behavior like protests, riots, and rebellions. We extend our analyses beyond the existing corpora which focus heavily on China and the Middle East/North Africa regions to encompass Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, where there are growing security threats and ample opportunities to collect and analyze linguistic data. The project analyzes language automatically with computational linguistics tools and resources, such as Coh-Metrix, Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count, latent semantic analysis, and topics analysis.    

PI: Leah Windsor [University of Memphis]
Co-PI(s): Art Graesser & Zhiqiang Cai [University of Memphis]
Grant Name: Political Crisis and Language: A Computational Assessment of Social Disequilibrium and Security Threats
Funding Agency: Office of Naval Research
Dates: 2014-2018 
Amount: $1,285,656