Semantic Networking and Imagery Configuration: A Computer-aided Study Ofpoetic Visions with Special Reference to Wang Wei and Meng Haorans

Project: Research

View graph of relations


This project is a substantial development from the PI’s previous research output: (1) a combined experimental corpus of the complete 544 poems by Wang Wei and Meng Haoran; (2) a theory-informed conceptual framework for (3); (3) a hierarchical tree-structure of ontological-cognitive entries under four rubrics: Entities, Events, (material) Attributes, and (subjective/mental) Values, supported by dictionary-like term-banks of single-/multi-character words and allusions found in the corpus; (4) an online data-annotation platform; and (5) semantic annotation and tagging of the 4000+ words in the corpus, with proper nouns and context-sensitive metaphors/allusions identified and annotated to make their semantic properties and/or cultural/contextual/metaphorical implications of all the words computer-readable. Task 1 of the proposed project is therefore to design a search engine that integrates all the modules listed above, to perform (a) basic data search, e.g., by author and/or subject, (b) advanced search including computation of semantic elements to reveal their logical relations at word/verse/ text levels, and (c) in-depth and integrated concordancing at the level of underlying semantic elements to generate cognitively or poetically related collections of words/verses/poems with their bibliographic sources and annotations readily accessible. For example, by entering search words ‘window’, ‘spring’ and ‘sad’, the system will gather all the verses/poems that have been annotated to match these semantic elements for poetically or cognitively meaningful investigations, no matter ‘window’ is expressed in the actual texts as 窗, 軒or牖, ‘spring’ as 春, 柳絮or 花, and ‘sad’ as 悲, 哀, 傷or 愁, for instance. Task 2 is thus to realize the potential of this innovative methodology for poetry studies. It will search the corpus by specific combinations of search words to generate collections of data for observing relevant imagery configurations in a particular (groups of) text(s) as empirical support for an in-depth study on the ‘poetic vision’ (意境) in terms of interactions between: 1) ‘scene’ (景) and ‘emotion’ (情); 2) time and space; 3) the actual (實) and the virtual/mental (虛); 4) the static (靜) and the dynamic (動), all being fundamental yet (so far) elusive concepts in Chinese poetics. Findings will be published to report on advances in such research as well as to illustrate the applicability of our system and methodology, e.g. in (collaboratively) studying other (Chinese) poets and/or poetic concepts beyond the scope of this project in an empirically more rigorous manner.


Project number9042289
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/1515/06/17

    Research areas

  • Classical Chinese Poetry,Imagery Configuration,Poetic Vision,Semantic Networking,