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Mapping Topic Evolution Across Poetic Traditions

by   Petr Plechac, et al.

Poetic traditions across languages evolved differently, but we find that certain semantic topics occur in several of them, albeit sometimes with temporal delay, or with diverging trajectories over time. We apply Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to poetry corpora of four languages, i.e. German (52k poems), English (85k poems), Russian (18k poems), and Czech (80k poems). We align and interpret salient topics, their trend over time (1600–1925 A.D.), showing similarities and disparities across poetic traditions with a few select topics, and use their trajectories over time to pinpoint specific literary epochs.


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