Institutionen för lingvistik och filologi

Seminarium i datorlingvistik

  • Datum: 2018-02-16 kl 13:15 15:00
  • Plats: Engelska parken
  • Föreläsare: Sarah Allison
  • Kontaktperson: Ali Basirat
  • Telefon: 0184717006
  • Seminarium

At the Intersection of Linguistics and Literature: Finding a Proxy for Style

This presentation approaches the intersection of literary analysis and linguistics through my work with digital literary stylistics, in examples drawn from the collaborative context of the Stanford Literary  Lab and in my own work on the style of moralizing in Victorian literature. While literary analysis often focuses on specialized uses of language (like the fictional narrative past tense)  or the idiosyncratic habits of a single author, I argue that those claims appear in sharper relief against a backdrop of larger patterns in language--the perspective that computational linguistics can provide.
The study of style is often shaped in relation to an authoring figure;  style is evidence both of idiosyncracy and genius, of accident and design. Yet, as the outcome of a thousand small choices (repeated), it is not surprising its study has long been associated with statistics. To connect the complex phenomenon of style to readers'  impressions and authorial self-description, I borrow a strategy from statistics: choosing the proxy. What measurable thing stands for  –signals, illuminates, marks—the larger phenomenon of style we wish to trace? The careful selection and defense of a proxy can mark a path from the world of maps, graphs, trees and tables to traditional literary argument.