This paper presents an empirical study of linguistic formality. We perform an analysis of humans’ perceptions of formality in four different genres. These findings are used to develop a statistical model for predicting formality, which is evaluated under different feature settings and genres. We apply our model to an investigation of formality in online discussion forums, and present findings consistent with theories of formality and linguistic coordination.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, which permits you to copy and redistribute in any medium or format, for non-commercial use only, provided that the original work is not remixed, transformed, or built upon, and that appropriate credit to the original source is given. For a full description of the license, please visit