Smells like Teen Spirit: An Exploration of Sensorial Style in Literary Genres

Osama Khalid, Padmini Srinivasan


Abstract
It is well recognized that sensory perceptions and language have interconnections through numerous studies in psychology, neuroscience, and sensorial linguistics. Set in this rich context we ask whether the use of sensorial language in writings is part of linguistic style? This question is important from the view of stylometrics research where a rich set of language features have been explored, but with insufficient attention given to features related to sensorial language. Taking this as the goal we explore several angles about sensorial language and style in collections of lyrics, novels, and poetry. We find, for example, that individual use of sensorial language is not a random phenomenon; choice is likely involved. Also, sensorial style is generally stable over time - the shifts are extremely small. Moreover, style can be extracted from just a few hundred sentences that have sensorial terms. We also identify representative and distinctive features within each genre. For example, we observe that 4 of the top 6 representative features in novels collection involved individuals using olfactory language where we expected them to use non-olfactory language.
Anthology ID:
2022.coling-1.6
Volume:
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Month:
October
Year:
2022
Address:
Gyeongju, Republic of Korea
Venue:
COLING
SIG:
Publisher:
International Committee on Computational Linguistics
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Pages:
55–64
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.coling-1.6
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Osama Khalid and Padmini Srinivasan. 2022. Smells like Teen Spirit: An Exploration of Sensorial Style in Literary Genres. In Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, pages 55–64, Gyeongju, Republic of Korea. International Committee on Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Smells like Teen Spirit: An Exploration of Sensorial Style in Literary Genres (Khalid & Srinivasan, COLING 2022)
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https://aclanthology.org/2022.coling-1.6.pdf