Phonological Soundscapes in Medieval Poetry

Christopher Hench

Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) Anthology
August 4, 2017

BIDS Fellow Christopher Hench published this paper in the workshop proceedings of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), held on July 30 - August 4, 2017, in Vacouver, British Columbia, Canada.  

In the paper, Chris discusses the syllabification of low-resource languages and the quantification of phonological soundscapes in medieval German love poetry.

Abstract: The oral component of medieval poetry was integral to its performance and recep- tion. Yet many believe that the medieval voice has been forever lost, and any at- tempts at rediscovering it are doomed to failure due to scribal practices, manuscript mouvance, and linguistic normalization in editing practices. This paper offers a method to abstract from this noise and better understand relative differences in phonological soundscapes by considering syllable qualities. The presented syllabifi- cation method and soundscape analysis of- fer themselves as cross-disciplinary tools for low-resource languages. As a case study, we examine medieval German lyric and argue that the heavily debated lyri- cal ‘I’ follows a unique trajectory through soundscapes, shedding light on the perfor- mance and practice of these poets.



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Christopher Hench

German, Digital Humanities, D-Lab, DSEP
Alumni - DATA SCIENCE FELLOW