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FIN-CLARIAH D3.5.2: Text network analysis of political texts

Project: FIN-CLARIAH
Grant agreement: Academy of Finland no. 345610
Start date: 01-01-2022
Duration: 24 months

WP 3.5: Report on Text network analysis of political texts
Date of reporting: 22-11-2023

Report author: Kimmo Elo (University of Turku)
Contributors: Kimmo Elo, Veronika Laippala, Otto Tarkka, Pyry Kantanen, Markus Korhonen (all from the University of Turku)

Deliverable location:

  • KWIC-tool: http://finparl-01.utu.fi/apps/KWIC/
  • TNA-tool: http://finparl-01.utu.fi/apps/TNA/

Both URLs will be opened for public use on December 19, 2023.

Description

The WP’s main objective was to develop tools based on network analysis for the analysis of political texts. The following two (2) tools are now available for public use (as beta releases, see below):

  1. KWIC tool for FinParl corpus: This tool provides a user interface to query word embeddings with KWIC (Key Word In Context) method. The tool offers a simple, yet intuitive user interface built with R Shiny, with which the user can query key word embeddings of the FinParl corpus of plenary debates of the Finnish parliament (eduskunta) and use the KWIC results to inspect n-grams and to visualise key word embeddings as text networks.
  1. TNA tool for the analysis of speeches of Finnish MPs: This tool will provide functionalities for vocabulary based content analysis of political speeches. The user selects an MP and can then study 1) a timeline of the MP’s plenary speeches, 2) a wordcloud of max. 500 most used words by the MP, as well 3) a speaker-to-concept network consisting of the 50 most frequently used concepts of the selected MP and and of his/her most similar colleagues (similarity measured as word-based cosine similarity).

The dataset these deliverables are based on covers a timespan from 1990 to 2021. The WP 3.5 uses a tailored FinParl corpus consisting of all plenary speeches of the Finnish eduskunta since 1907. The data and apps are located on data servers of the University of Turku.

Overall, the WP 3.5 has reached its most central objectives and succeeded in creating a well-functioning, active, multi-disciplinary collaboration network within the University of Turku. This network brings together expertise from social sciences and computational linguistics and is well capable of developing tools for a wide audience. The team dynamics is at good level and regular internal meetings are used to discuss current issues, problems, and solutions.

The deliverables to be published in December 2023 should be, however, considered as project milestones only. From 2024 onwards the future development of both tools will continue within the FIRI consortium project “LAWPOL”. The next milestone is Q2/2024, until which these tools are expected to be fully integrated in the first release of LAWPOL Digital Workbench for Political and Legal Studies bringing together most important political materials related to Finnish democracy.

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