The paper investigates various definitions of the concept of opinion as opposed to factual or evidence-based statements and proposes a taxonomy of opinions expressed in English as identified in selected social media. A discussion situates opinions in the realm of pragmatics and reaches to philosophy of language and cognitive science. The research methodology combines a thorough linguistic analysis of opinions, proposing their multifaceted taxonomy with the automatically generated lexical embeddings of positive and negative lexicon acquired from the analysed opinionated texts. As proposed, the definition of the concept of opinion is best apprehended when looked upon in terms of an opinion event, with a number of necessary conditions on the one hand, and those that are characteristic of an explicit opinion prototype on the other. Lists of opinion discourse markers show their preferential uses either in positive or negative opinionated texts; however, no sets of necessary and/or sufficient opinion markers properties have been acquired from the analysed texts. The conclusions indicate a polysemous understanding of naturally occurring social media opinionated texts and a definitional flexibility of the boundaries around lexical positive and negative types of opinion markers.
- opinion (-event, -marker, -SCHEMA)