A Framework for Political Portmanteau Decomposition


  • Nabil Hossain University of Rochester
  • Minh Tran University of Rochester
  • Henry Kautz University of Rochester




Portmanteaus are new words formed by combining the sounds and meanings of two words. Given their sticky nature, portmanteaus are often used to create political and personal attacks by combining a target entity with derogatory terms, which can then be spread online for promoting hate speech and defamation. In this paper, we present a framework to decompose political portmanteaus used online into their component words. Using our annotated dataset of political portmanteaus, we train a system that correctly decomposes 76.2% of the political portmanteaus into their component words. Furthermore, for 93.4% of the political portmanteaus, our system finds the correct component words in its top ten results, suggesting that using better ranking methods can lead to stronger results. This work provides a framework for both understanding an intriguing linguistic phenomena and for building hate-speech filters that could catch novel words that would bypass traditional hate speech detection approaches.




How to Cite

Hossain, N., Tran, M., & Kautz, H. (2020). A Framework for Political Portmanteau Decomposition. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 14(1), 944-948. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v14i1.7363