Large-scale Analysis of Spoken Free-verse Poetry

Timo Baumann, Burkhard Meyer-Sickendiek


Abstract
Most modern and post-modern poems have developed a post-metrical idea of lyrical prosody that employs rhythmical features of everyday language and prose instead of a strict adherence to rhyme and metrical schemes. This development is subsumed under the term free verse prosody. We present our methodology for the large-scale analysis of modern and post-modern poetry in both their written form and as spoken aloud by the author. We employ language processing tools to align text and speech, to generate a null-model of how the poem would be spoken by a naïve reader, and to extract contrastive prosodic features used by the poet. On these, we intend to build our model of free verse prosody, which will help to understand, differentiate and relate the different styles of free verse poetry. We plan to use our processing scheme on large amounts of data to iteratively build models of styles, to validate and guide manual style annotation, to identify further rhythmical categories, and ultimately to broaden our understanding of free verse poetry. In this paper, we report on a proof-of-concept of our methodology using smaller amounts of poems and a limited set of features. We find that our methodology helps to extract differentiating features in the authors’ speech that can be explained by philological insight. Thus, our automatic method helps to guide the literary analysis and this in turn helps to improve our computational models.
Anthology ID:
W16-4017
Volume:
Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology Resources and Tools for Digital Humanities (LT4DH)
Month:
December
Year:
2016
Address:
Osaka, Japan
Venue:
LT4DH
SIG:
Publisher:
The COLING 2016 Organizing Committee
Note:
Pages:
125–130
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/W16-4017
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Timo Baumann and Burkhard Meyer-Sickendiek. 2016. Large-scale Analysis of Spoken Free-verse Poetry. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology Resources and Tools for Digital Humanities (LT4DH), pages 125–130, Osaka, Japan. The COLING 2016 Organizing Committee.
Cite (Informal):
Large-scale Analysis of Spoken Free-verse Poetry (Baumann & Meyer-Sickendiek, LT4DH 2016)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/W16-4017.pdf