Exploring Pornography in Widad Benmoussa’s Poetry Using LIWC and Corpus Tools

  • Encarnación Sánchez Arenas
Original Paper


Literary analysis has been lately ushered towards objective, rather than subjective, interpretation using psycholinguistic principles and computational tools. This manuscript explores pornographic content in Widad Benmoussa’s poetry using Linguistic Query and Word Count (LIWC) and corpus tools. Using LIWC and corpus tools, Benmoussa’s poems were compiled into a UTF-8 encoded file to be processed later by LIWC-2015, Sketch Engine® and AntConc®. Analysis demonstrates that Benmoussa uses sexuality as a central metaphor throughout her poems to express her aspiration to restore and concretize the lost romantic love. The pornographic words, although less explicitly stated, speak of the profound sexual desire.


Widad Benmoussa Cognitive poetics Literary linguistics Pornography Sexuality 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12119_2018_9513_MOESM1_ESM.dic (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DIC 13 kb)
12119_2018_9513_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (263 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 262 kb)


  1. Abell, J. W., Steenbergh, T. A., & Boivin, M. J. (2006). Cyberporn use in the context of religiosity. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 34(2), 165–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Gender differences in erotic plasticity: the female sex drive as socially flexible and responsive. Psychological Bulletin, 126(3), 347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benmoussa, W. (2001). I have roots in air (in Arabic). Morocco: Ministry of Culture.Google Scholar
  4. Benmoussa, W. (2006). Between two clouds (in Arabic and French). Morocco: Marsam Publishing House.Google Scholar
  5. Benmoussa, W. (2007). I opened it on you (in Arabic). Morocco: Marsam Publishing House.Google Scholar
  6. Benmoussa, W. (2008). Storm in a body (in Arabic). Morocco: Marsam Publishing House.Google Scholar
  7. Benmoussa, W. (2010). I hardly lost my narcissism (in Arabic). Syria: Ward Publishing House.Google Scholar
  8. Benmoussa, W. (2014). I stroll along this life. Morocco: Tobkal Publishing House.Google Scholar
  9. Boyd, R. L., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2015). Did Shakespeare write Double Falsehood? Identifying individuals by creating psychological signatures with text analysis. Psychological Science, 26(5), 570–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohn, M. A., Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2004). Linguistic markers of psychological change surrounding September 11, 2001. Psychological Science, 15(10), 687–693.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Essam, B. A. (2016). Nizarre Qabbani’s original versus translated pornographic ideology: A corpus-based study. Sexuality and Culture, 20(4), 965–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Essam, B. A. (2017). Compiling a lexicon of pornography using Web, WordNet and FrameNet to develop an individual pornographic index. Sexuality and Culture, 21(2), 534–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ireland, M. E., Slatcher, R. B., Eastwick, P. W., Scissors, L. E., Finkel, E. J., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2011). Language style matching predicts relationship initiation and stability. Psychological Science, 22(1), 39–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kacewicz, E., Pennebaker, J. W., Davis, M., Jeon, M., & Graesser, A. C. (2014). Pronoun use reflects standings in social hierarchies. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33(2), 125–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kadri, N., Benjelloun, R., Kendili, I., Khoubila, A., & Moussaoui, D. (2013). Internet and sexuality in Morocco, from cyber habits to psychopathology. Sexologies, 22(2), e49–e53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kern, M. L., Eichstaedt, J. C., Schwartz, H. A., Dziurzynski, L., Ungar, L. H., Stillwell, D. J., et al. (2014). The online social self: An open vocabulary approach to personality. Assessment, 21(2), 158–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lester, D., & McSwain, S. (2011). A text analysis of the poems of Sylvia Plath. Psychological Reports, 109(1), 73–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Newman, M. L., Pennebaker, J. W., Berry, D. S., & Richards, J. M. (2003). Lying words: Predicting deception from linguistic styles. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(5), 665–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nuha, B. (2016). Representation of gendered art through gendered memories in Ahlam Mosteghanemis Memory in the Flesh and Chaos of the Senses. International Journal of English and Literature, 7(6), 92–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pająk, K., & Trzebiński, J. (2014). Escaping the world: Linguistic indicators of suicide attempts in poets. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 19(5), 389–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pennebaker, J. W. (1997). Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic process. Psychological Science, 8(3), 162–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pennebaker, J. W. (2011). Using computer analyses to identify language style and aggressive intent: The secret life of function words. Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, 4(2), 92–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pennebaker, J. W., Francis, M. E., & Booth, R. J. (2001). Linguistic inquiry and word count: LIWC 2001. Mahway: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 71(2001), 2001.Google Scholar
  24. Tausczik, Y. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2010). The psychological meaning of words: LIWC and computerized text analysis methods. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(1), 24–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yarkoni, T. (2010). Personality in 100,000 words: A large-scale analysis of personality and word use among bloggers. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(3), 363–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SevilleSevilleSpain

Personalised recommendations