CESTA Digital Humanities Graduate Fellowship Project:
Statistical Analysis of Alliterative Collocations in Old Norse Eddic Poetry
The metrical form of Old Norse poetry required a certain number of stressed syllables per line to alliterate with each other, resulting in recurring combinations of alliterating words known as collocations. I will be conducting computer-aided statistical analysis of the recurring pairs of alliterating words in the corpus of eddic poetry, to determine which combinations are deliberate stylistic devices and which are likely to have recurred by chance. This will provide valuable insight into the worldviews of the poets and their primary audiences, and inform further studies of the stylistic effects achieved through the use of traditional collocating pairs.