Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


A Performatory Analysis of the Phrase "It is true that" and Its Utilization in Opinion Mining


Mahmut Burak Şenol
MSc Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Truth, specifically the problem of truth, is one of the central subjects in philosophy. Among current theories of truth, The Deflationary Theory, which suggests that truth doesn't have a nature of the kind that philosophers might find out about and develop theories of, has been the most influential theory, since it's been suggested. According to this theory, to assert that a statement is true is just to assert the statement itself. However, Strawson (1949) suggests that there exist other important aspects of speech acts, involving the term "true", beyond what is asserted. In other words, the term "true" performs some actions, beyond what is asserted.

Following this intuition, we performed an analysis on the explicit use of the term "true", in the form of the phrase "it is true that", using archives of New York Times. We have analyzed 3900 news, from 1.Jan.2000 to 1.Feb.2012, which contain the phrase. As a result of this analysis, we have distinguished three major actions that the term "true" performs. In the order of frequency of usage, these actions are accepting or granting what someone else said, emphasizing suspicion and confirming. By these three actions, the term "true" gives pragmatic information concerning the belief of the author; and as a future work we are going to utilize these information in order to make use of it in opinion mining systems.

Keywords: Truth, The Deflationary Theory, Opinion Mining


DATE: 26 March, 2012, Monday @ 15:40