PhD Seminar • Artificial Intelligence • An Ontology for Ploke: Rhetorical Figures of Lexical Repetitions

Friday, September 10, 2021 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Please note: This PhD seminar will be given online.

Yetian Wang, PhD candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Supervisors: Professors Dan Berry, Grant Weddell

A rhetorical figure is a device of rhetoric that generates a set of attentional effects, e.g., rhyme and metaphor. Rhetorical figures carry valuable rhetorical information beyond syntax and semantics within a passage or utterance. Ploke is a rhetorical figure of lexical repetition, with multiple variations contingent on place of occurrence. It is widespread in all natural and artificial languages because it manages stability of reference and predication. Syllogisms, for instance, are heavily dependent on positional repetition. Ploke also influences the reader’s/hearer’s attention because of its appeal to neurocognitive affinities. A formal knowledge representation of ploke is therefore valuable for any AI/NLP system. This talk proposes an ontological model for ploke. We discuss components of different types of plokes and rhetorical figures in general, in terms of their form, their function, and the associated neurocognitive affinities that affect attention

To join this PhD seminar on Zoom, please go to