Gender Analysis of Serbian Women’s Songs

About the Project

Our project consists of a gender-based analysis of Serbian folk songs based on both an English and Serbian source. We were interested in seeing the different nouns and adjectives used to refer to and describe women,but our main focus was on the connotation of the adjectives.Through XML mark-up we distinguished between male and female nouns and adjectives; for the adjectives we only noted the gender and whether it is positive or negative, but for the nouns we marked the gender, relationship (familial, general, or romantic) and the type of noun (a specific name or a general noun).

For future work on this project, we would want to expand our corpus and extrapalate on the different categories of nouns that we marked. We were not able to include all the elements of our original research question due to the time constraints of the course.

Research Questions

Are men or women mentioned more in the Serbian women's songs, and are they described as being largely positive or negative? How do differences in connotation of adjectives show how the culture (or a subsection of it) viewed women?


Our hypothesis was that women would be featured sparingly and in predominantly negative roles in the poems. This hypothesis is not supported by the data.

The Researchers

Emma Mamula (emmamamulal)

Pursued a Slavic Studies degree with a BCS minor and REEES certificate.

Mitchell Luckman (MLuckman)

Majors in Russian and Political Science with a REEES certificate, additionally studies BCS.

Daniel Daudinot (ddaud02)

Studied Applied Linguistics and Spanish at the University of Pittsburgh, in addition to his interest in languages, he is very interested in learning about the impact of technologies such as computational analysis in language analises.

Acknowledgments to

This project is a collaboration of students from the University of Pittsburgh specifically as a final project of class CLASS-1050 of the spring of the year 2019. The project was directly supervised by David J. Birnbaum who is a Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. Birnbaum has been involved in the study of electronic text technology since the mid-1980s, has delivered presentations at a variety of digital humanities conferences, and has served on the board of the Association for Computers and the Humanities, the editorial board of Markup languages: theory and practice, and the Text Encoding Initiative Council. Much of his electronic text work intersects with his research in medieval Slavic manuscript studies, but he also often writes about issues in the philosophy of markup. At the University of Pittsburgh he regularly teaches “Computational methods in the humanities”, a coding-intensive XML-oriented course that is cross-listed in eight departments.