Tiziana Mancinelli, Andrea Marchesini, RAOP – Rhetorical Annotation Ontology Project

This paper introduces a domain-specific ontology for the annotation of figures of speech, called RAOP – Rhetorical Annotation Ontology Project (https://github.com/bakulf/raop). RAOP will allow students and researchers to map rhetorical aspects of written and oral texts. Informed by the study of classical and modern rhetorical scholarship, this ontology, based on W3C Linked data and Semantic Web, will be a powerful model to represent the complexity of hierarchical and non-hierarchical structures such as a rhetorical system. Built in RDF, RAOP could also be expanded to all standards of Semantic Web and it could be used together with other formal ontologies already in existence such as FRBR, TEI and, CIDOC-CRM. The hierarchical model of TEI P5, used for building the digital edition of Bertolucci’s La camera da letto, was a fitting data structure for many levels of annotations. However, a rhetorical figure involves multiple co-existing elements, the disadvantage of overlapping in the so called XML-trees is a limit and a challenge for the representation of complex text structures. This project is one of the possible approaches taken into consideration to digitize figures of speech by using technologies associated with Linked data and Semantic Web. Together with the ontology, a tool will be presented, made ad hoc in order to quicken the encoding process, and an example of literary analysis. In conclusion, the paper will show the advantages that a digital edition brings to our understanding of a poetic text.

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