Devika Tiwari


An Exploration of Linguistically-Driven and Transfer Learning Methods for Euphemism Detection
Devika Tiwari | Natalie Parde
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Figurative Language Processing (FLP)

Euphemisms are often used to drive rhetoric, but their automated recognition and interpretation are under-explored. We investigate four methods for detecting euphemisms in sentences containing potentially euphemistic terms. The first three linguistically-motivated methods rest on an understanding of (1) euphemism’s role to attenuate the harsh connotations of a taboo topic and (2) euphemism’s metaphorical underpinnings. In contrast, the fourth method follows recent innovations in other tasks and employs transfer learning from a general-domain pre-trained language model. While the latter method ultimately (and perhaps surprisingly) performed best (F1 = 0.74), we comprehensively evaluate all four methods to derive additional useful insights from the negative results.