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EVALITA Evaluation of NLP and Speech Tools for Italian

Tommaso Caselli
Nicole Novielli
Viviana Patti
et al.

Part I. Introduction to Evalita 2018 and task overviews

Overview of the EVALITA 2018 Task on Irony Detection in Italian Tweets (IronITA)

Alessandra Teresa Cignarella, Simona Frenda, Valerio Basile, Cristina Bosco, Viviana Patti et Paolo Rosso


IronITA is a new shared task in the EVALITA 2018 evaluation campaign, focused on the automatic classification of irony in Italian texts from Twitter. It includes two tasks: 1) irony detection and 2) detection of different types of irony, with a special focus on sarcasm identification. We received 17 submissions for the first task and 7 submissions for the second task from 7 teams.

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1 Introduction

Irony is a figurative language device that conveys the opposite of literal meaning, profiling intentionally a secondary or extended meaning. Users on the web usually tend to use irony like a creative device to express their thoughts in short-texts like tweets, reviews, posts or commentaries. But irony, as well as other figurative language devices, for example metaphors, is very difficult to deal with automatically. For its traits of recalling another meaning or obfuscating the real communicative intention, it hinders correct sentiment analysis of texts and, therefore, correct opinion mining. Indeed, the presence of ironic devices in a text can work as an unexpected “polarity reverser” (one says something “good” to mean something “bad”), thus undermining systems’ accuracy.

Considering the majority of state-of-the-art studies in computational linguistics, irony is often used as an umbrella-term which includes satire, sarcasm and parody due to fuzzy boundaries among them (...


Dipartimento di Informatica, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy – PRHLT Research Center Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain – cigna[at]


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