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  1. A Quantitative Literary History of 2,958 Nineteenth-Century British Novels : The Semantic Cohort Method
    Published: 01.05.2012

    The nineteenth century in Britain saw tumultuous changes that reshaped the fabric of society and altered the course of modernization. It also saw the rise of the novel to the height of its cultural power as the most important literary form of the... more

     

    The nineteenth century in Britain saw tumultuous changes that reshaped the fabric of society and altered the course of modernization. It also saw the rise of the novel to the height of its cultural power as the most important literary form of the period. This paper reports on a long-term experiment in tracing such macroscopic changes in the novel during this crucial period. Specifically, we present findings on two interrelated transformations in novelistic language that reveal a systemic concretization in language and fundamental change in the social spaces of the novel. We show how these shifts have consequences for setting, characterization, and narration as well as implications for the responsiveness of the novel to the dramatic changes in British society.

    This paper has a second strand as well. This project was simultaneously an experiment in developing quantitative and computational methods for tracing changes in literary language. We wanted to see how far quantifiable features such as word usage could be pushed toward the investigation of literary history. Could we leverage quantitative methods in ways that respect the nuance and complexity we value in the humanities? To this end, we present a second set of results, the techniques and methodological lessons gained in the course of designing and running this project.

     

    Content notes: free
    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Working paper
    Format: Online
    DDC Categories: 800
    : Stanford Literary Lab
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen