PoKi: A large dataset of poems by children


Child language studies are crucial in improving our understanding of child well-being; especially in determining the factors that impact happiness, the sources of anxiety, techniques of emotion regulation, and the mechanisms to cope with stress. However, much of this research is stymied by the lack of availability of large child-written texts. We present a new corpus of child-written text, PoKi, which includes about 62 thousand poems written by children from grades 1 to 12. PoKi is especially useful in studying child language because it comes with information about the age of the child authors (their grade). We analyze the words in PoKi along several emotion dimensions (valence, arousal, dominance) and discrete emotions (anger, fear, sadness, joy). We use non-parametric regressions to model developmental differences from early childhood to late-adolescence. Results show decreases in valence that are especially pronounced during mid-adolescence, while arousal and dominance peaked during adolescence. Gender differences in the developmental trajectory of emotions are also observed. Our results support and extend the current state of emotion development research.

In LREC 2020