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Bootstrapped Lexicon of English Polarity Shifters


This repository contains the data created as part of:

Marc Schulder, Michael Wiegand and Josef Ruppenhofer (2020). "Automatic Generation of Lexica for Sentiment Polarity Shifters". In: Natural Language Engineering. doi:10.1017/S135132492000039X


We provide a bootstrapped lexicon of English polarity shifters and their shifting direction. We cover verbs, nouns and adjectives. Our lexicon provides 2521 shifters among a vocabulary of 9145 words, taken from WordNet v3.1 (Miller et al., 1990).

We also provide a dataset of 2631 verb phrases that are annotated for shifting polarities. The phrases are taken from the Amazon Product Review Data corpus (Jindal & Liu, 2008).

Related Resources


1. Polarity Shifter Lexicon

A list of 9145 words, annotated for whether they are polarity shifters and which polarities they affect. Contains 2631 shifters and 6514 non-shifters.

  • File: shifters.txt
  • The lexicon is a comma-separated value (CSV) table
    • POS: The part of speech of the word (verb, noun, adj)
    • LEMMA: The lemma representation of the word in question. Multiword expressions are separated by an underscore (WORD_WORD).
    • SHIFTER_LABEL: Whether the word is a polarity shifter (SHIFTER) or a non-shifter (NONSHIFTER)
    • DIRECTION_LABEL: Whether the shifter affects only positive polarities (AFFECTS_POSITIVE), only negative polarities (AFFECTS_NEGATIVE) or can shift in both directions (AFFECTS_BOTH). Non-shifters are all labeled (NONE).
    • SOURCE: Whether the word was part of the gold standard (GOLD_STANDARD) or was bootstrapped (BOOTSTRAPPED). Note that while bootstrapped shifter labels are verified by a human annotator, their direction label is automatically classified without verification.

2. Sentiment Verb Phrases

A set of verb phrases, annotated for the polarity of the verb phrase and the polarity of a polar noun that it contains. Can be used to evaluate whether a polarity classifier correctly recognizes polarity shifting. The file starts with 400 phrases containing shifter verbs, followed by 2231 phrases containing non-shifter verbs.

  • File: sentiment_phrases.txt
  • Every item consists of:
    • The sentence from which the VP and the polar noun were extracted.
    • The VP, polar noun and the verb heading the VP.
    • Constituency parse for the VP.
    • Gold labels for VP and polar noun by a human annotator.
    • Predicted labels for VP and polar noun by RNTN tagger (Socher et al., 2013) and LEX_gold approach.
    • Items are separated by a line of asterisks (*)


This data set and the associated article are published under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.


This work was partially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under grants RU 1873/2-1 and WI4204/2-1.


G. Miller, R. Beckwith, C. Fellbaum, D. Gross, K. Miller: "Introduction to WordNet: An On-Line Lexical Database". International Journal of Lexicography, 3:235-244, 1990.

N. Jindal and B. Liu: "Opinion Spam and Analysis", in Proceedings of ACM-WSDM, 2008.

R. Socher, A. Perelygin, J. Wu, J. Chuang, C. Manning, A. Ng, C. Potts: "Recursive Deep Models for Semantic Compositionality Over a Sentiment Treebank", in EMNLP, 2013.


Supplementary data for the 2021 JNLE article "Automatic Generation of Lexica for Sentiment Polarity Shifters" by Schulder, Wiegand and Ruppenhofer.