Speech Acts (SAs) are one of the important areas of pragmatics, which give us a better understanding of the state of mind of the people and convey an intended language function. Knowledge of the SA of a text can be helpful in analyzing that text in natural language processing applications. This study presents a dictionary-based statistical technique for Persian SA recognition. The proposed technique classifies a text into seven classes of SA based on four criteria: lexical, syntactic, semantic, and surface features. WordNet as the tool for extracting synonym and enriching features dictionary is utilized. To evaluate the proposed technique, we utilized four classification methods including Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Naive Bayes (NB), and K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN). The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method using RF and SVM as the best classifiers achieved a state-of-the-art performance with an accuracy of 0.95 for classification of Persian SAs. Our original vision of this work is introducing an application of SA recognition on social media content, especially identifying the common SA in rumors and its application in the rumor detection. Therefore, the proposed system utilized to determine the common SAs in rumors. The results showed that Persian rumors are often expressed in three SA classes including narrative, question, and threat, and in some cases with the request SA. Also, the evaluation results indicate that SA as a distinctive feature between rumors and non-rumors improves the accuracy of rumor identification from 0.762 (based on common context features) to 0.791 (the combination of common context features and four SA classes).
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