ZeuScansion: A tool for scansion of English poetry


  • Manex Agirrezabal University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
  • Aitzol Astigarraga University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
  • Bertol Arrieta University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
  • Mans Hulden University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Linguistics


Scansion, English, Poetry, Out-of-vocabulary words


We present a finite state technology based system capable of performing metrical scansion of verse written in English. Scansion is the traditional task of analyzing the lines of a poem, marking the stressed and non-stressed elements, and dividing the line into metrical feet. The system's workflow is composed of several subtasks designed around finite state machines that analyze verse by performing tokenization, part of speech tagging, stress placement, and unknown word stress pattern guessing. The scanner also classifies its input according to the predominant type of metrical foot found. We also present a brief evaluation of the system using a gold standard corpus of human-scanned verse, on which a per-syllable accuracy of 86.78% is reached. The program uses open-source components and is released under the GNU GPL license.



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How to Cite

Agirrezabal, M., Astigarraga, A., Arrieta, B., & Hulden, M. (2016). ZeuScansion: A tool for scansion of English poetry. Journal of Language Modelling, 4(1), 3–28. https://doi.org/10.15398/jlm.v4i1.102