Presentation Title

Quantifying proverb dynamics in books, news articles, and tweets

Project Collaborators

Advisors: Peter Dodds, Chris Danforth, Wolfgang Mieder

Abstract

Proverbs represent an important component of language and culture. Proverbs often serve to convey distilled essences of cultural codes that may be moral, cautionary, or observational. Here, we quantitatively compare temporal dynamics of proverb use within three disparate corpora: Literature, traditional news media, and social media. For each corpus, we determine and track the specific proverbs that are most widely used. We also explore the emergence of modern proverbs, providing quantitative support for previous scholarship. Far from fading into disuse in contemporary language and media, we find that proverbs are popular on Twitter, offering statistical evidence that `a good maxim is never out of season’.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Chris Danforth

Secondary Mentor NetID

pdodds

Secondary Mentor Name

Peter Dodds

Status

Graduate

Student College

Graduate College

Program/Major

Complex Systems

Primary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

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Quantifying proverb dynamics in books, news articles, and tweets

Proverbs represent an important component of language and culture. Proverbs often serve to convey distilled essences of cultural codes that may be moral, cautionary, or observational. Here, we quantitatively compare temporal dynamics of proverb use within three disparate corpora: Literature, traditional news media, and social media. For each corpus, we determine and track the specific proverbs that are most widely used. We also explore the emergence of modern proverbs, providing quantitative support for previous scholarship. Far from fading into disuse in contemporary language and media, we find that proverbs are popular on Twitter, offering statistical evidence that `a good maxim is never out of season’.