Article details

Research area
Speech recognition

ACL HLT 2011 Workshop on Language in Social Media


Kelly Peterson, Matt Hohensee, Fei Xia

Email Formality in the Workplace: A Case Study on the Enron Corpus


Email is an important way of communication in our daily life and it has become the subject of various NLP and social studies. In this paper, we focus on email formality and explore the factors that could affect the sender’s choice of formality. As a case study, we use the Enron email corpus to test how formality is affected by social distance, relative power, and the weight of imposition, as defined in Brown and Levinson’s model of politeness (1987). Our experiments show that their model largely holds in the Enron corpus. We believe that the methodology proposed in the paper can be applied to other social media domains and be used to test other linguistic or social theories.

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