Calculating syllable count automatically from fixed-meter poetry in English and Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this article I develop a set of simple algorithms for deriving syllable count information for words from fixed-meter poetry. The focus is on the determination of what features of language or meter might be most useful. I therefore first review what factors might be useful for this, selecting those that require as little information as possible about the language in question and making as few computational demands as possible. We end up with algorithms based on: (i) the number of syllables in each line, (ii) the number of words in each line, (iii) the number of letters in those words, and (iv) the frequency of those words. I test these algorithms on corpora from English and Welsh, getting parallel results in both cases. The results establish that the variables I identify do have significant success in deriving syllable count, but that work remains to be done.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfqt019
Pages (from-to)218-233
Number of pages16
JournalLiterary and Linguistic Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Calculating syllable count automatically from fixed-meter poetry in English and Welsh'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this