Patrick J. Burns

Research Associate at Harvard Human Evolutionary Biology | Formerly Quantitative Criticism Lab, ISAW Library | Fordham PhD, Classics | CLTK contributor

Measuring Emotional Content in Historical Text through Classification and Lexicon Construction

Presentation at Historial Psychology pre-conference workshop at SPSP2023


This paper presents experiments in measuring emotional content in Latin texts using document classification and distant supervision for the construction of “emotion lexicons.” Lexicon construction allows us assign all words in the collection an ‘emotion’ weight—weights that can be used to capture not only the direct expression of emotion vocabulary (e.g. ‘metus’ as a keyword marker of Latin “fear”), but also indirect expressions such as metonymy and metaphor.

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