Verb rhyme in Russian Poetry: a quantitative analysis
This article provides a quantitative corpus-based investigation of the Russian verb rhyme and its change in the Russian poetic tradition from the beginning of the 19th century to the 1960s. Versologists have studied the rhyme primarily as a phonetic entity, whereas morphology also contributes to the rhyme euphony due to the regularity of grammatical affixes. The research focuses on a micro-diachronic analysis of verb rhymes, summarises the identified historical trends, and defines acceptable and clearly avoided verb forms. The article also analyses the morphological patterns of verb rhymes including the most common lexical pairings and combinations of particular grammatical forms with different parts of speech. The study analyses data from the Corpus of Russian Poetry (a part of the Russian National Corpus) and introduces research methods and a corpus-based tool that were designed specifically for the statistical analysis and computational modelling of poetic features. The results show that authors experimented with word rhyme in various ways during different periods. Despite the idea of non-aesthetic verbal rhyme, which has existed since the time of A. Kantemir, its use in the historical perspective varies, there are periods of rise and fall. We distinguish two classes of rhyming pairs: combinations of two verb forms and morphologically dissimilar combinations of a verb form with a word of another part of speech. We conclude that restrictions on verbal rhyme apply mainly to combinations of past tense and infinitive forms. Nevertheless, the rhyming of indicative forms and morphologically heterogeneous rhymes is used more freely.