The Deep Comedy

This research project is focused on applications of Deep Learning to the work of Dante Alighieri.

As a preliminary step in this direction, I have been working, in collaboration with the metricist Stefano Dal Bianco, to the complete syllabification of the Divine Comedy.

This particular application does not exploit deep learning, but simple probabilistic and constraint programming techniques. We particularly focus on the synalephe, addressed in terms of the "propensity" of a word to take part in a synalephe with adjacent words.

We jointly provide an online vocabulary containing, for each word, information about its syllabification, the location of the tonic accent, and the aforementioned synalephe propensity, on the left and right sides.

The syllabification algorithm is intrinsically nondeterministic, producing different possible syllabifications for each verse, with different likelihoods; metric constraints relative to accents on the 10th, 4th and 6th syllables are used to further reduce the solution space. The most likely syllabification is hence returned as output.


As an example, here is the

Syllabification of the first canto of the inferno

Let me recall a couple of our conventions:
  • group of vowels in the final word of the verse are treated as diphthongs (tro|vai, in|trai, ab|ban|do|nai, ...)
  • apostrophes are assimilated to vowels: (on|d'io, do|v'or, \dots)
1  |Nel |mez|zo |del |cam|min |di |no|stra |vi|ta
2  |mi |ri|tro|vai |per |u|na |sel|va o|scu|ra,
3  |ché |la |di|rit|ta |via |e|ra |smar|ri|ta.

4  |Ahi |quan|to a |dir |qual |e|ra è |co|sa |du|ra
5  |e|sta |sel|va |sel|vag|gia e |a|spra e |for|te
6  |che |nel |pen|sier |ri|no|va |la |pa|u|ra!

7  |Tan|t’ è a|ma|ra |che |po|co |è |più |mor|te;
8  |ma |per |trat|tar |del |ben |ch’ i’ |vi |tro|vai,
9  |di|rò |de |l’ al|tre |co|se |ch’ i’ |v’ ho |scor|te.

10  |Io |non |so |ben |ri|dir |com’ |i’ |v’ in|trai,
11  |tan|t’ e|ra |pien |di |son|no |a |quel |pun|to
12  |che |la |ve|ra|ce |via |ab|ban|do|nai.

13  |Ma |poi |ch’ i’ |fui |al |piè |d’ un |col|le |giun|to,
14  |là |do|ve |ter|mi|na|va |quel|la |val|le
15  |che |m’ a|vea |di |pa|u|ra il |cor |com|pun|to,

16  |guar|dai |in |al|to e |vi|di |le |sue |spal|le
17  |ve|sti|te |già |de’ |rag|gi |del |pia|ne|ta
18  |che |me|na |drit|to al|trui |per |o|gne |cal|le.

19  |Al|lor |fu |la |pa|u|ra un |po|co |que|ta,
20  |che |nel |la|go |del |cor |m’ e|ra |du|ra|ta
21  |la |not|te |ch’ i’ |pas|sai |con |tan|ta |pie|ta.

22  |E |co|me |quei |che |con |le|na af|fan|na|ta,
23  |u|sci|to |fuor |del |pe|la|go a |la |ri|va,
24  |si |vol|ge a |l’ ac|qua |pe|ri|glio|sa e |gua|ta,

25  |co|sì |l’ a|ni|mo |mio, |ch’ an|cor |fug|gi|va,
26  |si |vol|se a |re|tro a |ri|mi|rar |lo |pas|so
27  |che |non |la|sciò |già |mai |per|so|na |vi|va.

28  |Poi |ch’ èi |po|sa|to un |po|co il |cor|po |las|so,
29  |ri|pre|si |via |per |la |piag|gia |di|ser|ta,
30  |sì |che ’l |piè |fer|mo |sem|pre e|ra ’l |più |bas|so.

31  |Ed |ec|co, |qua|si al |co|min|ciar |de |l’ er|ta,
32  |u|na |lon|za |leg|ge|ra e |pre|sta |mol|to,
33  |che |di |pel |ma|co|la|to e|ra |co|ver|ta;

34  |e |non |mi |si |par|tia |di|nan|zi al |vol|to,
35  |an|zi ’m|pe|di|va |tan|to il |mio |cam|mi|no,
36  |ch’ i’ |fui |per |ri|tor|nar |più |vol|te |vòl|to.

37  |Tem|p’ e|ra |dal |prin|ci|pio |del |mat|ti|no,
38  |e ’l |sol |mon|ta|va ’n |sù |con |quel|le |stel|le
39  |ch’ e|ran |con |lui |quan|do |l’ a|mor |di|vi|no

40  |mos|se |di |pri|ma |quel|le |co|se |bel|le;
41  |sì |ch’ a |be|ne |spe|rar |m’ e|ra |ca|gio|ne
42  |di |quel|la |fie|ra a |la |ga|et|ta |pel|le

43  |l’ o|ra |del |tem|po e |la |dol|ce |sta|gio|ne;
44  |ma |non |sì |che |pa|u|ra |non |mi |des|se
45  |la |vi|sta |che |m’ ap|par|ve |d’ un |le|o|ne.

46  |Que|sti |pa|rea |che |con|tra |me |ve|nis|se
47  |con |la |te|st’ al|ta e |con |rab|bio|sa |fa|me,
48  |sì |che |pa|rea |che |l’ ae|re |ne |tre|mes|se.

49  |Ed |u|na |lu|pa, |che |di |tut|te |bra|me
50  |sem|bia|va |car|ca |ne |la |sua |ma|grez|za,
51  |e |mol|te |gen|ti |fé |già |vi|ver |gra|me,

52  |que|sta |mi |por|se |tan|to |di |gra|vez|za
53  |con |la |pa|u|ra |ch’ u|scia |di |sua |vi|sta,
54  |ch’ io |per|dei |la |spe|ran|za |de |l’ al|tez|za.

55  |E |qual |è |quei |che |vo|lon|tie|ri ac|qui|sta,
56  |e |giu|gne ’l |tem|po |che |per|der |lo |fa|ce,
57  |che ’n |tut|ti |suoi |pen|sier |pian|ge e |s’ at|tri|sta;

58  |tal |mi |fe|ce |la |be|stia |san|za |pa|ce,
59  |che, |ve|nen|do|mi ’n|con|tro, a |po|co a |po|co
60  |mi |ri|pi|gne|va |là |do|ve ’l |sol |ta|ce.

61  |Men|tre |ch’ i’ |ro|vi|na|va in |bas|so |lo|co,
62  |di|nan|zi a |li oc|chi |mi |si |fu |of|fer|to
63  |chi |per |lun|go |si|len|zio |pa|rea |fio|co.

64  |Quan|do |vi|di |co|stui |nel |gran |di|ser|to,
65  « |Mi|se|re|re |di |me», |gri|dai |a |lui,
66  « |qual |che |tu |sii, |od |om|bra od |o|mo |cer|to!».

67  |Ri|spuo|se|mi:« |Non |o|mo, o|mo |già |fui,
68  |e |li |pa|ren|ti |miei |fu|ron |lom|bar|di,
69  |man|to|a|ni |per |pa|trï|a am|be|dui.

70  |Nac|qui |sub |Iu|lio, an|cor |che |fos|se |tar|di,
71  |e |vis|si a |Ro|ma |sot|to ’l |buo|no Au|gu|sto
72  |nel |tem|po |de |li |dèi |fal|si e |bu|giar|di.

73  |Po|e|ta |fui, |e |can|tai |di |quel |giu|sto
74  |fi|gliuol |d’ An|chi|se |che |ven|ne |di |Tro|ia,
75  |poi |che ’l |su|per|bo I|lï|ón |fu |com|bu|sto.

76  |Ma |tu |per|ché |ri|tor|ni a |tan|ta |no|ia?
77  |per|ché |non |sa|li il |di|let|to|so |mon|te
78  |ch’ è |prin|ci|pio e |ca|gion |di |tut|ta |gio|ia?».

79  « |Or |se’ |tu |quel |Vir|gi|lio e |quel|la |fon|te
80  |che |span|di |di |par|lar |sì |lar|go |fiu|me?»,
81  |ri|spuo|s’ io |lui |con |ver|go|gno|sa |fron|te.

82  « |O |de |li al|tri |po|e|ti o|no|re e |lu|me,
83  |va|glia|mi ’l |lun|go |stu|dio e ’l |gran|de a|mo|re
84  |che |m’ ha |fat|to |cer|car |lo |tuo |vo|lu|me.

85  |Tu |se’ |lo |mio |ma|e|stro e ’l |mio |au|to|re,
86  |tu |se’ |so|lo |co|lui |da |cu’ |io |tol|si
87  |lo |bel|lo |sti|lo |che |m’ ha |fat|to o|no|re.

88  |Ve|di |la |be|stia |per |cu’ |io |mi |vol|si;
89  |a|iu|ta|mi |da |lei, |fa|mo|so |sag|gio,
90  |ch’ el|la |mi |fa |tre|mar |le |ve|ne e i |pol|si».

91  « |A |te |con|vien |te|ne|re al|tro |vï|ag|gio»,
92  |ri|spuo|se, |poi |che |la|gri|mar |mi |vi|de,
93  « |se |vuo’ |cam|par |d’ e|sto |lo|co |sel|vag|gio;

94  |ché |que|sta |be|stia, |per |la |qual |tu |gri|de,
95  |non |la|scia al|trui |pas|sar |per |la |sua |via,
96  |ma |tan|to |lo ’m|pe|di|sce |che |l’ uc|ci|de;

97  |e |ha |na|tu|ra |sì |mal|va|gia e |ria,
98  |che |mai |non |em|pie |la |bra|mo|sa |vo|glia,
99  |e |do|po ’l |pa|sto ha |più |fa|me |che |pria.

100  |Mol|ti |son |li a|ni|ma|li a |cui |s’ am|mo|glia,
101  |e |più |sa|ran|no an|co|ra, in|fin |che ’l |vel|tro
102  |ver|rà, |che |la |fa|rà |mo|rir |con |do|glia.

103  |Que|sti |non |ci|be|rà |ter|ra |né |pel|tro,
104  |ma |sa|pï|en|za, a|mo|re |e |vir|tu|te,
105  |e |sua |na|zion |sa|rà |tra |fel|tro e |fel|tro.

106  |Di |quel|la u|mi|le I|ta|lia |fia |sa|lu|te
107  |per |cui |mo|rì |la |ver|gi|ne |Cam|mil|la,
108  |Eu|ria|lo e |Tur|no e |Ni|so |di |fe|ru|te.

109  |Que|sti |la |cac|ce|rà |per |o|gne |vil|la,
110  |fin |che |l’ av|rà |ri|mes|sa |ne |lo ’n|fer|no,
111  |là |on|de ’n|vi|dia |pri|ma |di|par|til|la.

112  |On|d’ io |per |lo |tuo |me’ |pen|so e |di|scer|no
113  |che |tu |mi |se|gui, e |io |sa|rò |tua |gui|da,
114  |e |trar|rot|ti |di |qui |per |lo|co et|ter|no;

115  |o|ve u|di|rai |le |di|spe|ra|te |stri|da,
116  |ve|drai |li an|ti|chi |spi|ri|ti |do|len|ti,
117  |ch’ a |la |se|con|da |mor|te |cia|scun |gri|da;

118  |e |ve|de|rai |co|lor |che |son |con|ten|ti
119  |nel |fo|co, |per|ché |spe|ran |di |ve|ni|re
120  |quan|do |che |sia |a |le |be|a|te |gen|ti.

121  |A |le |quai |poi |se |tu |vor|rai |sa|li|re,
122  |a|ni|ma |fia |a |ciò |più |di |me |de|gna:
123  |con |lei |ti |la|sce|rò |nel |mio |par|ti|re;

124  |ché |quel|lo im|pe|ra|dor |che |là |sù |re|gna,
125  |per|ch’ i’ |fu’ |ri|bel|lan|te a |la |sua |leg|ge,
126  |non |vuol |che ’n |sua |cit|tà |per |me |si |ve|gna.

127  |In |tut|te |par|ti im|pe|ra e |qui|vi |reg|ge;
128  |qui|vi è |la |sua |cit|tà |e |l’ al|to |seg|gio:
129  |oh |fe|li|ce |co|lui |cu’ |i|vi e|leg|ge!».