18. January 2017

Parallelistic features of poetic diction render a great variety of emotional responses to poetry more intense

(c) Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

Alliteration, anaphora, meter, rhyme, etc. are well-known patterns of repetition/recurrence („parallelisms“) in poetic language. Earlier empirical research has shown that they enhance ease of perceptual (prosodic) processing, while at the same time often rendering semantic processing more demanding. Drawing on a corpus of 40 poems, researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics were the first to study emotional effects of these features of poetic diction. They found them to intensify all target emotions investigated in the study (joy, sadness, being moved, etc.). Thus, parallelistic features of poetic language may be considered as general intensifiers of emotional responses.

 

Original publication:

Menninghaus, W., Wagner, V., Wassiliwizky, E., Jacobsen, T., & Knoop, C. A. (advanced online publication).The emotional and aesthetic powers of parallelistic diction. Poetics. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2016.12.001

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Winfried Menninghaus
Director Department of Language and Literature
Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main

+49 69 8300479-101 

 

Dr. Anna Husemann
Research Coordination/PR
Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main

+49 69 8300479-650

anna.husemann@ae.mpg.de