Gaiku: Generating haiku with word associations norms

Yael Netzer, David Gabay, Yoav Goldberg, Michael Elhadad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Word associations are an important element of linguistic creativity. Traditional lexical knowledge bases such as WordNet formalize a limited set of systematic relations among words, such as synonymy, polysemy and hypernymy. Such relations maintain their systematicity when composed into lexical chains.
We claim that such relations cannot explain the type of lexical associations common in poetic text. We explore in this paper the usage of Word Association Norms (WANs) as an alternative lexical knowledge source to analyze linguistic computational creativity. We specifically investigate the Haiku poetic genre, which is characterized by heavy reliance on lexical associations. We first compare the density of WAN-based word associations in a corpus of English Haiku poems to that of WordNet-based associations as well as in other non-poetic genres. These experiments confirm our hypothesis that the non-systematic lexical associations captured in WANs play an important role in poetic text. We then present Gaiku, a system to automatically generate Haikus from a seed word and using WAN-associations. Human evaluation indicate that generated Haikus are of lesser quality than human Haikus, but a high proportion of generated Haikus can confuse human readers, and a few of them trigger intriguing reactions.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Creativity
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Gaiku: Generating haiku with word associations norms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this