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Vossian Antonomasia

Frank Fischer, Robert Jäschke, Elena Krotova, Michel Schwab, Jannik Strötgen

Automatic extraction of Vossian antonomasia (VA) from large newspaper corpora. Based on an idea by Frank Fischer (see Der Umblätterer).

Vossian antonomasia is a stylistic device which attributes a certain property to a person by naming another (more well-known, more popular) person as a reference point. For instance, when Jim Koch is described as "the Steve Jobs of Beer", certain qualities of Steve Jobs, be it entrepreneurship or persuasiveness, are assigned to Jim Koch, co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company. VAs consist of three parts: a source (in our example "Steve Jobs") serves as paragon to elevate the target ("Jim Koch") by applying a modifier ("of Beer") that provides the corresponding context. VA is named after Gerardus Vossius (1577– 1649), the Dutch classical scholar and author of rhetorical textbooks, who first distinguished and described VA as a separate phenomenon.

EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 (November, 2019)

Schwab, M., Jäschke, R., Fischer, F., Strötgen, J.: 'A Buster Keaton of Linguistics': First Automated Approaches for the Extraction of Vossian Antonomasia. Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing. pp. 6239–6244. Association for Computational Linguistics 2019. (DOI:10.18653/v1/D19-1647, PDF, BibTeX, Poster)

DSH Paper (January, 2019)

Fischer, F., Jäschke, R.: ‘The Michael Jordan of greatness’—Extracting Vossian antonomasia from two decades of The New York Times, 1987–2007. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. 2019. (DOI:10.1093/llc/fqy087, Preprint: arXiv:1902.06428)

TheOf Approach (2017–2019)

First Approach (February, 2017)

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