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See detailANNUAL REPORT ON MIGRATION AND ASYLUM Luxembourg 2019
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Hallack, Florence UL; Rozenberga, Zane UL et al

Report (2020)

The present report provides an overview of the main developments and debates in relation to migration and asylum in Luxembourg in 2019. Luxembourg remains an important country of immigration, as evidenced ... [more ▼]

The present report provides an overview of the main developments and debates in relation to migration and asylum in Luxembourg in 2019. Luxembourg remains an important country of immigration, as evidenced by the figures on net migration, which remains the main reason for the demographic growth of the Luxembourgish resident population. Net immigration of third-country nationals remains high (7 336) and exceeds that of citizens of the European Union (EU; 4 806). The number of people applying for international protection remained high in 2019 (2 047 applications) compared to the levels registered pre-‘migration crisis’ (1 091 in 2014). Family reunification remains the principal reason for third-country nationals to immigrate to Luxembourg, followed by economic reasons and international protection. Several major developments occurred in the field of legal migration. The introduction of a new long-term visa simplifies the entry and stay of third-country nationals for a period of up to one year, without having to apply for a residence permit. In order to guarantee the rights of British citizens working and residing in Luxembourg before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the EU (Brexit) four laws were adopted, most of them were supposed to enter into force if there was a non-deal Brexit. Other important changes related to migration result from the adoption of the law of 4 December 2019 amending the law of 29 August 2009 on the free movement of persons and immigration (hereinafter Immigration Law). This law takes into account the expert’s comments during the evaluation in 2016 of the application of Schengen. [less ▲]

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See detailGlutathione Restricts Serine Metabolism to Preserve Regulatory T Cell Function
Kurniawan, Henry; Franchina, Davide G.; Guerra, Luana UL et al

in Cell Metabolism (2020), 31(5), 920--9367

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain immune homeostasis and prevent autoimmunity. Serine stimulates glutathione (GSH) synthesis and feeds into the one-carbon metabolic network (1CMet) essential for ... [more ▼]

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain immune homeostasis and prevent autoimmunity. Serine stimulates glutathione (GSH) synthesis and feeds into the one-carbon metabolic network (1CMet) essential for effector T cell (Teff) responses. However, serine’s functions, linkage to GSH, and role in stress responses in Tregs are unknown. Here, we show, using mice with Treg-specific ablation of the catalytic subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase ( Gclc), that GSH loss in Tregs alters serine import and synthesis and that the integrity of this feedback loop is critical for Treg suppressive capacity. Although Gclc ablation does not impair Treg differentiation, mutant mice exhibit severe autoimmunity and enhanced anti-tumor responses. Gclc-deficient Tregs show increased serine metabolism, mTOR activation, and proliferation but downregulated FoxP3. Limitation of cellular serine in vitro and in vivo restores FoxP3 expression and suppressive capacity of Gclc-deficient Tregs. Our work reveals an unexpected role for GSH in restricting serine availability to preserve Treg functionality. [less ▲]

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See detailFinding Small Molecules (and PFAS) with High Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Schymanski, Emma UL

Presentation (2020, May 05)

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See detailClimate SMART Agriculture: How well does the agricultural sector in Luxembourg perform in terms of climate change?
Evelyne, Stoll; Schader, Christian; Bohn, Torsten et al

Scientific Conference (2020, May 04)

In Luxembourg, the agricultural sector was responsible for 711.7 Gg CO2-equivalents in 2016, which corresponds to 6.95 % of the total country greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Over 50 % of the farms are ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourg, the agricultural sector was responsible for 711.7 Gg CO2-equivalents in 2016, which corresponds to 6.95 % of the total country greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Over 50 % of the farms are specialist grazing livestock farms. The beef and cattle milk production account globally together for over 60 % of the sector’s global emissions. Thus, the climate impact of the whole agricultural sector in Luxembourg can be significantly lowered by reducing the GHG emissions of the specialist grazing livestock sector. However, beyond farm type, the GHG emissions of a farm are also influenced by other factors, such as management systems and farming practices. To enable a transition towards a more climate-positive agriculture, insights into the sustainability performance in terms of climate change are needed. The aim of this study is to determine the current sustainability performance of the Luxembourgish specialist grazing livestock sector in terms of climate change. The climate impact of the different specialist grazing livestock farm types (OTE (orientation technico-économique) 45 - Specialist dairying; OTE 46 - Specialist cattle - rearing and fattening and OTE 47 - Cattle - dairying, rearing and fattening combined) and of different management systems (conventional or organic) was assessed at farm-level. Furthermore, the relationship between the sustainability performance in terms of climate change and other areas of sustainability is being studied. Farming practices of 60 farms typical for Luxembourg in regard to their share of arable land and permanent grassland (OTE 45: 3 farms; OTE 46: 15; OTE 45: 11; Conventional: 44; Organic: 16) and their respective sustainability implications were assessed in 2019 according to the FAO SAFA Guidelines (Guidelines for the Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems, 2014) using the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment RouTine (SMART)-Farm Tool (v5.0). Organic farms were highly overrepresented, with 26.7 % in the sample compared to 5 % of all Luxembourgish farms. The data was collected during a farm visit and a 3 h interview with the farm manager. The impact of management system and farm type on the SAFA-goal achievement for the sub-theme Greenhouse Gases (GHG) were studied. The results show that the sustainability performances of the participating farms were moderate to good. Goal achievement for the sub-theme GHG was moderate and did not differ significantly between the three farm types (OTE 45: 53.3 % ±3.9 SD goal achievement; OTE 46: 55.6 % ±7.3 SD; OTE 47: 54.6 % ±6.9 SD). Organic farms showed a significantly higher mean goal achievement for GHG than conventional farms (p-value < 0.001) (organic: 58.3 % ±6.0 SD; conventional: 52.6 % ±4.4 SD). For indicators positively impacting GHG, the organic and the OTE 46 farms had generally higher ratings. Correlations between GHG and the other sub-themes were mainly in the Environmental Integrity dimension, showing that implementing climate-positive farming practices can also improve other ecological aspects. The indicator analysis identified the following linchpins: increase in protein autarky, closing of farming cycles and holistic approach with strategic decision making leading to harmonized actions towards a sustainable and climate positive farming system. [less ▲]

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See detailGerontagogy Toward Intergenerationality: Dialogical Learning Between Children and Elders
Boulanger, Dany; Albert, Isabelle UL; Marsico, Giuseppina

in Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science (2020), 54

This paper aims at overcoming the following limits of gerontagogy –particularly with regard to Lemieux’s model: referencing chronological age; delimitating elders’ learning in reference to traits (styles ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at overcoming the following limits of gerontagogy –particularly with regard to Lemieux’s model: referencing chronological age; delimitating elders’ learning in reference to traits (styles, needs, behaviors, etc.) in contrast to children’s learning; overlooking the aging aspect. To do so, we propose to integrate aging and intergenerationality into gerontagogy from a sociocultural, dialogical and historical approach. This establishes the basis for an intergenerational and dialogical approach to elders’ learning. [less ▲]

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See detailBehind the Last Line of Defense -- Surviving SoC Faults and Intrusions
Pinto Gouveia, Ines UL; Volp, Marcus UL; Esteves-Verissimo, Paulo UL

E-print/Working paper (2020)

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g ... [more ▼]

Today, leveraging the enormous modular power, diversity and flexibility of manycore systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) requires careful orchestration of complex resources, a task left to low-level software, e.g. hypervisors. In current architectures, this software forms a single point of failure and worthwhile target for attacks: once compromised, adversaries gain access to all information and full control over the platform and the environment it controls. This paper proposes Midir, an enhanced manycore architecture, effecting a paradigm shift from SoCs to distributed SoCs. Midir changes the way platform resources are controlled, by retrofitting tile-based fault containment through well known mechanisms, while securing low-overhead quorum-based consensus on all critical operations, in particular privilege management and, thus, management of containment domains. Allowing versatile redundancy management, Midir promotes resilience for all software levels, including at low level. We explain this architecture, its associated algorithms and hardware mechanisms and show, for the example of a Byzantine fault tolerant microhypervisor, that it outperforms the highly efficient MinBFT by one order of magnitude. [less ▲]

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See detailVarieties of Democracy (V-DEM) Report "Autocratization Surges - Resistance Grows" (2020)
Danescu, Elena UL

Report (2020)

Main findings 2020. Autocratization – the decline of democratic traits – accelerates in the world: for the first time since 2001, autocracies are in the majority: 92 countries – home to 54% of the global ... [more ▼]

Main findings 2020. Autocratization – the decline of democratic traits – accelerates in the world: for the first time since 2001, autocracies are in the majority: 92 countries – home to 54% of the global population. Almost 35% of the world’s population live in autocratizing nations – 2.6 billion people. EU has its first non-democracy as a member: Hungary is now classed as an electoral authoritarian regime. Major G20 nations and all regions of the world are part of the “third wave of autocratization”: autocratization is affecting Brazil, India, the United States of America, and Turkey, which are major economies with sizeable populations, exercising substantial global military, economic, and political influence. Latin America is back to a level last recorded in the early 1990s while Eastern Europe and Central Asia are at post-Soviet Union lows. India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy due to the severely shrinking of space for the media, civil society, and the opposition under Prime Minister Modi’s government. Pro-democracy resistance grows from 27% in 2009 to 44% in 2019 amidst the autocratization surge. During 2019, citizens in 29 democracies mobilized against autocratization, such as in Bolivia, Poland, and Malawi. Citizens staged mass protests in 34 autocracies, among them Algeria, Hong Kong, and Sudan. [less ▲]

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See detailAt the boundaries of institutional theorizing: Individual entrepreneurship in episodes of regulatory change
Löhlein, Lukas; Muessig, Anke UL

in Accounting, Organizations and Society (2020), 83

We analyse the institutional dynamics surrounding the establishment of independent audit oversight in Germany from 1997 to 2016. Complementing prior works, which have focused on countries where the global ... [more ▼]

We analyse the institutional dynamics surrounding the establishment of independent audit oversight in Germany from 1997 to 2016. Complementing prior works, which have focused on countries where the global demand for independent regulation coincides with the domestic erosion of public trust in professional self-regulation, we investigate regulatory change in a context featuring strong trust in the accounting profession. To analyse the accounting establishment’s response to expanding global standards of accounting regulation and the escalating resistance of small accounting firms, as orchestrated by one individual, we mobilize a Bourdieusian field perspective and the literature on institutional entrepreneurship. By demonstrating how intra-professional conflict has increasingly eroded the establishment’s capital to reproduce its hegemonic field position and keep the regulator at distance, our case provides a counterpoint to prior research, which suggests that oversight is mainly the product of negotiations between a unified profession and the regulatory authority. Examining a rare instance of individual entrepreneurship also enables us to engage in a theory-testing process on the explanatory power of institutional ambiguitiesdthe subjectively perceived ruptures and contradictions within established social arrangementsdfor agency. Our findings suggest that ongoing encounters with institutional ambiguities result in varying disposition to activism. In this way, while acknowledging agency as a cause of field reproduction and change, our analysis shifts attention towards the relational, temporal, and transformational institutional dynamics that constitute distinct modes of agency. By identifying empirical residuals that seem to escape theorization, we also reveal the limits of institutional theorizing. [less ▲]

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See detail'Faster-than-Nyquist Signaling via Spatiotemporal Symbol-Level Precoding for Multi-User MISO Redundant Transmissions
Alves Martins, Wallace UL; Spano, Danilo UL; Chatzinotas, Symeon UL et al

in International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP-2020), Barcelona 4-8 May 2020 (2020, May)

This paper tackles the problem of both multi-user and intersymbol interference stemming from co-channel users transmitting at a faster-than-Nyquist (FTN) rate in multi-antenna downlink transmissions. We ... [more ▼]

This paper tackles the problem of both multi-user and intersymbol interference stemming from co-channel users transmitting at a faster-than-Nyquist (FTN) rate in multi-antenna downlink transmissions. We propose a framework for redundant block-based symbol-level precoders enabling the trade-off between constructive and destructive multi-user and interblock interference (IBI) effects at the single-antenna user terminals. Redundant elements are added as guard interval to handle IBI destructive effects. It is shown that, within this framework, accelerating the transmissions via FTN signaling improves the error-free spectral efficiency, up to a certain acceleration factor beyond which the transmitted information cannot be perfectly recovered by linear filtering followed by sampling. Simulation results corroborate that the proposed spatiotemporal symbol-level precoding can change the amount of added redundancy from zero (full IBI) to half (IBI-free) the equivalent channel order, so as to achieve a target balance between spectral and energy efficiencies. [less ▲]

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See detailSecurity and Performance Implications of BGP Rerouting-resistant Guard Selection Algorithms for Tor
Mitseva, Asya UL; Aleksandrova, Marharyta UL; Engel, Thomas UL et al

in Security and Performance Implications of BGP Rerouting-resistant Guard Selection Algorithms for Tor (2020, May)

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See detailBacAnalytics: A Tool to Support Secondary School Examination in France
Roussanaly, Azim; Aleksandrova, Marharyta UL; Boyer, Anne

in 25th International Symposium on Intelligent Systems (ISMIS 2020) (2020, May)

Students who failed the final examination in the secondary school in France (known as baccalauréat or baccalaureate) can improve their scores by passing a remedial test. This test consists of two oral ... [more ▼]

Students who failed the final examination in the secondary school in France (known as baccalauréat or baccalaureate) can improve their scores by passing a remedial test. This test consists of two oral examinations in two subjects of the student's choice. Students announce their choice on the day of the remedial test. Additionally, the secondary education system in France is quite complex. There exist several types of baccalaureate consisting of various streams. Depending upon the stream students belong to, they have different subjects allowed to be taken during the remedial test and different coefficients associated with each of them. In this context, it becomes difficult to estimate the number of professors of each subject required for the examination. Thereby, the general practice of remedial test organization is to mobilize a large number of professors. In this paper, we present BacAnalytics - a tool that was developed to assist the rectorate of secondary schools with the organization of remedial tests for the baccalaureate. Given profiles of students and their choices of subjects for previous years, this tool builds a predictive model and estimates the number of required professors for the current year. In the paper, we present the architecture of the tool, analyze its performance, and describe its usage by the rectorate of the Academy of Nancy-Metz in Grand Est region of France in the years 2018 and 2019. BacAnalytics achieves almost 100% of prediction accuracy with approximately 25% of redundancy and was awarded a French national prize Impulsions 2018. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the Efficiency of Test Suite based Program Repair: A Systematic Assessment of 16 Automated Repair Systems for Java Programs
Liu, Kui UL; Wang, Shangwen; Koyuncu, Anil UL et al

in 42nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) (2020, May)

Test-based automated program repair has been a prolific field of research in software engineering in the last decade. Many approaches have indeed been proposed, which leverage test suites as a weak, but ... [more ▼]

Test-based automated program repair has been a prolific field of research in software engineering in the last decade. Many approaches have indeed been proposed, which leverage test suites as a weak, but affordable, approximation to program specifications. Although the literature regularly sets new records on the number of benchmark bugs that can be fixed, several studies increasingly raise concerns about the limitations and biases of state-of-the-art approaches. For example, the correctness of generated patches has been questioned in a number of studies, while other researchers pointed out that evaluation schemes may be misleading with respect to the processing of fault localization results. Nevertheless, there is little work addressing the efficiency of patch generation, with regard to the practicality of program repair. In this paper, we fill this gap in the literature, by providing an extensive review on the efficiency of test suite based program repair. Our objective is to assess the number of generated patch candidates, since this information is correlated to (1) the strategy to traverse the search space efficiently in order to select sensical repair attempts, (2) the strategy to minimize the test effort for identifying a plausible patch, (3) as well as the strategy to prioritize the generation of a correct patch. To that end, we perform a large-scale empirical study on the efficiency, in terms of quantity of generated patch candidates of the 16 open-source repair tools for Java programs. The experiments are carefully conducted under the same fault localization configurations to limit biases. Eventually, among other findings, we note that: (1) many irrelevant patch candidates are generated by changing wrong code locations; (2) however, if the search space is carefully triaged, fault localization noise has little impact on patch generation efficiency; (3) yet, current template-based repair systems, which are known to be most effective in fixing a large number of bugs, are actually least efficient as they tend to generate majoritarily irrelevant patch candidates. [less ▲]

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See detailTransmit Beamforming Design with Received-Interference Power Constraints: The Zero-Forcing Relaxation
Lagunas, Eva UL; Perez-Neira, Ana; Lagunas, Miguel Angel et al

in IEEE Int. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP), Barcelona, Spain, May 2020 (2020, May)

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See detailExponential integrability and exit times of diffusions on sub-Riemannian and metric measure spaces
Thompson, James UL; Thalmaier, Anton UL

in Bernoulli (2020), 26(3), 2202-2225

In this article we derive moment estimates, exponential integrability, concentration inequalities and exit times estimates for canonical diffusions in two settings each beyond the scope of Riemannian ... [more ▼]

In this article we derive moment estimates, exponential integrability, concentration inequalities and exit times estimates for canonical diffusions in two settings each beyond the scope of Riemannian geometry. Firstly, we consider sub-Riemannian limits of Riemannian foliations. Secondly, we consider the non-smooth setting of RCD*(K,N) spaces. In each case the necessary ingredients are an Ito formula and a comparison theorem for the Laplacian, for which we refer to the recent literature. As an application, we derive pointwise Carmona-type estimates on eigenfunctions of Schrodinger operators. [less ▲]

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See detailIs Risk-Neutral Skewness an Indicator of Jump Risk? Evidence from Tail Risk-Taking of Hedge Funds
Lehnert, Thorsten UL

E-print/Working paper (2020)

Research suggests that systematic tail risk affects the cross-sectional variation in hedge fund returns. Fund’s tail risk is mainly induced by its investments in more tail-sensitive stocks and is ... [more ▼]

Research suggests that systematic tail risk affects the cross-sectional variation in hedge fund returns. Fund’s tail risk is mainly induced by its investments in more tail-sensitive stocks and is positively related to a trading strategy of writing out-of-the-money put options on the equity market index. Hence, high tail risk hedge funds are exposed to higher moments risks; they sell market volatility risk and buy market skewness risk. The relationship between the return spread of a high minus low tail risk strategy and a market volatility factor is expected to be negative and empirically observed to be negative. However, the relationship between a tail risk strategy and a market skewness factor is expected to be positive but I find it to be negative. In this paper, I explore this puzzling result. Using equity-oriented hedge fund return data, I find that equity market skewness risk explains a major part of variations in hedge funds’ tail risk. My results suggest that the observed negative relationship relates to the problem of price pressure associated with “crowded trades” of mutual funds. Given that retail investors are prone to herding, the directional trading of mutual funds is correlated, and their collective actions can generate short-term price pressure on aggregate stock prices (price ‘noise’). Short sellers systematically exploit these patterns not only in the equity lending market, but also in the options market by moving in the opposite direction. Hence, in times when investors shift their funds from bond to equity mutual funds, short selling in the options market, the non-fundamental demand for index put options, induces a negative relationship between risk-neutral market skewness and returns. Accordingly, the long leg of the tail risk strategy appears to be negatively exposed to market skewness risk, which is in contrast to the usual interpretation of option-implied skewness as an indicator of jump risk. My results are in line with empirical evidence that suggests that the shape of the implied volatility curve is attributable to the demand pressure of specific option series and a limited ability of arbitrageurs to bring prices back into alignment. [less ▲]

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See detailXPS Modeling of Immobilized Recombinant Angiogenin and Apoliprotein A1 on Biodegradable Nanofibers
Manakhov, Anton; Permyakova, Elizaveta; Ershov, Sergey UL et al

in Nanomaterials (2020), 10(5), 879

The immobilization of viable proteins is an important step in engineering efficient scaffolds for regenerative medicine. For example, angiogenin, a vascular growth factor, can be considered a neurotrophic ... [more ▼]

The immobilization of viable proteins is an important step in engineering efficient scaffolds for regenerative medicine. For example, angiogenin, a vascular growth factor, can be considered a neurotrophic factor, influencing the neurogenesis, viability, and migration of neurons. Angiogenin shows an exceptional combination of angiogenic, neurotrophic, neuroprotective, antibacterial, and antioxidant activities. Therefore, this protein is a promising molecule that can be immobilized on carriers used for tissue engineering, particularly for diseases that are complicated by neurotrophic and vascular disorders. Another highly important and viable protein is apoliprotein A1. Nevertheless, the immobilization of these proteins onto promising biodegradable nanofibers has not been tested before. In this work, we carefully studied the immobilization of human recombinant angiogenin and apoliprotein A1 onto plasma-coated nanofibers. We developed a new methodology for the quantification of the protein density of these proteins using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and modeled the XPS data for angiogenin and apoliprotein A1 (Apo-A1). These findings were also confirmed by the analysis of immobilized Apo-A1 using fluorescent microscopy. The presented methodology was validated by the analysis of fibronectin on the surface of plasma-coated poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibers. This methodology can be expanded for other proteins and it should help to quantify the density of proteins on surfaces using routine XPS data treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Annotation Framework for Luxembourgish Sentiment Analysis
Sirajzade, Joshgun UL; Gierschek, Daniela UL; Schommer, Christoph UL

in Besacier, Laurent; Sakti, Sakriani; Soria, Claudia (Eds.) et al Proceedings of the LREC 2020 1st Joint SLTU and CCURL Workshop (SLTU-CCURL 2020) (2020, May)

The aim of this paper is to present a framework developed for crowdsourcing sentiment annotation for the low-resource language Luxembourgish. Our tool is easily accessible through a web interface and ... [more ▼]

The aim of this paper is to present a framework developed for crowdsourcing sentiment annotation for the low-resource language Luxembourgish. Our tool is easily accessible through a web interface and facilitates sentence-level annotation of several annotators in parallel. In the heart of our framework is an XML database, which serves as central part linking several components. The corpus in the database consists of news articles and user comments. One of the components is LuNa, a tool for linguistic preprocessing of the data set. It tokenizes the text, splits it into sentences and assigns POS-tags to the tokens. After that, the preprocessed text is stored in XML format into the database. The Sentiment Annotation Tool, which is a browser-based tool, then enables the annotation of split sentences from the database. The Sentiment Engine, a separate module, is trained with this material in order to annotate the whole data set and analyze the sentiment of the comments over time and in relationship to the news articles. The gained knowledge can again be used to improve the sentiment classification on the one hand and on the other hand to understand the sentiment phenomenon from the linguistic point of view. [less ▲]

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