A Semantic Look at the Presidential Debates

Luca Scagliarini of Expert System reports, "This week’s presidential debate is being analyzed across the web on a number of fronts, from a factual analysis of what was said, to the number of tweets it prompted. Instead, we used our Cogito semantic engine to analyze the transcript of the debate through a semantic and linguistic lens. Cogito extracted the responses by question, breaking sentences down to their granular detail. This analysis allows us to look at the individual language elements to better understand what was said, as well as how the combined effect of word choice, sentence structure and sentence length might be interpreted by the audience."

He continues, "Here is a sample of what we found: Overall, President Obama spoke less (in number or words) but used longer sentences and a more complex sentence construction than Governor Romney, who used a simple sentence construction. Looking at the use of modal verbs, Romney made a greater use of 'can' and 'will' while President Obama often emphasized the word 'would.' While both used the verb 'be' most often, the second verb in frequency denotes a sense of action in the case of Obama ('do') and more passive action in the case of Romney ('have')."

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Expert System