Such Syntax, Much Meme: A Linguistic Analysis of Memes and Their Structural Syntax

Data and Visuals


The following bar graph depicts the presence, absence, and frequency of subjects in the syntactic structure of each meme from our corpus of 12 meme templates and 360 total memes. On the x axis are two variables, 'present' and 'absent', denoting the presence or absence of a subject in a meme. The y-axis measures the frequency of the number of times there is a present or absent subject. We realize that this bar graph, while it records valid data, is a simplistic representation of a detailed array of data. Before the end of the semester, we plan on adding in more graphs that represent more detailed information about our corpus such as specific percentage values regarding subject presence or a heat map for the different types of templates in our corpus.

Present vs Null Subject: Raw Data

0 150 300 Null Non-Null 262 217

The red bar represents all instances of null subjects in our corpus. The blue bar represents all present subjects in our corpus.

Present vs Null Subject: Percentage

0 50 100 Present SUBJ Null SUBJ

This graph mirrors the one before it but instead of the raw data we have broken it down into percentages. The blue bar represents the percentage of present subjects in our corpus. The yellow bar represents the presence of null subjects.

Null Subjects Over Time

0 50 100 Success Kid (2008) 71.19 Doge (2010) 62.50 Scumbag Steve (2011) 98.18 College Freshman (2011) 79.25 Bad Luck Brian (2012) 83.61 Drake (2016) 4.76 Arthur's Fist (2016) 0.00 Math Lady (2016) 25.81 Distracted Boyfriend (2017) 26.32 Roll Safe (2017) 29.41 Lisa Simpson Powerpoint (2018) 0.00 Savage Patrick (2018) 0.00

This graph serves as timeline for trends in the percentage of subject presence from the earliest template in our corpus to the most recent. The graph is a timeline of memes and each of the templates displays its information by means of the orange bars on the graph. The graph indactes that there is a drop in the use of subjects in meme within a four year gap. Overall, there is a definite presence of a decline in subject use.