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MacroanalysisDigital Methods and Literary History$
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Matthew L. Jockers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037528

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037528.001.0001

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(p.63) 6 Style

Matthew L. Jockers

University of Illinois Press

This chapter shows how stylistic signals can be derived from high-frequency features and how the usage, or nonusage, of those features was susceptible to influences that are external to the so-called “authorial style,” external influences such as genre, time, and gender. These aspects of style were explored using a controlled corpus of 106 British novels where genre was a key point of analysis. The chapter first provides an overview of statistical or quantitative authorship attribution before discussing the author's project, in which he analyzed the degree to which novelistic genres express a distinguishable stylistic signal by focusing on the distribution of novels in a corpus based on their genres and decades of publication. Through a series of experiments, he demonstrates the use of the classification methodology as a way of measuring the extent to which factors beyond an individual author's personal style may play a role in determining the linguistic usage and style of the resulting text.

Keywords:   stylistic signal, authorial style, genre, time, gender, British novels, authorship attribution, classification, linguistic usage

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