Author: Christof Schöch

stylometry bibliography 1

Introducing the Bibliography on Stylometry

This post is a brief presentation of the Stylometry Bibliography we recently published on Zotero. What is the scope of this bibliography? The understanding of the term stylometry underlying the conceptual scope of the bibliography is relatively wide and covers any type of quantitative analysis of literary style. In practice, a large part of the entries are focused on stylometry...

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Topic Modeling with MALLET: Hyperparameter Optimization

This is a short technical post about an interesting feature of Mallet which I have recently discovered or rather, whose (for me) unexpected effect on the topic models I have discovered: the parameter that controls the hyperparameter optimization interval in Mallet.[1] Yes, there are parameters, there are hyperparameters, and there are parameters controlling how hyperparameters are optimized. For a long...

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Follow-up on Simenon and Sentence-Length: Visualization and Hypothesis-Testing

In a conversation about my recent post on sentence length in Georges Simenon’s work, Fotis Jannidis said he thought the post was typical of quite a lot of recent work in digital literary studies in that it is exploratory rather than focused on hypothesis testing. I think this is true and that it is a problem. Exploratory methods, especially when...

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Detecting Transpositions when Comparing Text Versions using CollateX

The aims of this post are to explain what collation is, why detecting transpositions is special, and how to accomplish it using CollateX. The example I will be using involves comparing two versions of the recent best-selling novel The Martian by Andy Weir, a novel whose publishing history Erik Ketzan and me are currently investigating. More specifically, I will illustrate...

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Does Shorter Sell Better? Belgian author George Simenon’s use of sentence length

Belgian author Georges Simenon is probably most famous for his crime fiction novels in which police detective Maigret investigates serious crimes and elucidates them with intelligence, empathy, a team of inspectors and acquaintances, and, of course, his tobacco pipe as well as sandwiches and beers brought to his office. Simenon wrote 75 of these Maigret novels (and a certain number...

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How good are our texts, really? Quality assurance for literary texts from various sources

by Ulrike Henny and Christof Schöch — this post originally appeared on the CLiGS blog. Some weeks ago, we made our “New Year’s release” of text collections available. We publish the texts in the “CLiGS” group’s GitHub repository called “textbox“ and archive each release on Zenodo where they get a DOI. The texts are encoded in TEI with relatively detailed...

Topic Clustering Dendrogram 0

What’s in my topic model? Or: Clustering topics by semantic similarity

For the last year or so, one my major interests has been topic modeling and applying it to a variety of French literary texts. I have been doing this as part of an exploration of the computational analysis of literary genres in our Würzburg junior researchers group. One of the interesting things to come out of all of this has...

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Stylometry and pastiche. A case study from French crime fiction

When I enthusiastically present literary scholars with the surprising accuracy stylometric methods display in many cases of authorship attribution (given appropriate conditions, such as sufficient material, a certain homogeneity in the genre of the texts, and state-of-the art distance measures), some come up with a clever question: What if one author parodies the style of another author? Will stylometric methods...

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The Schiller-Kleist Uncertainty Principle (guest post)

This is a guest post, written by Philip Dürholt, a student in the “Digital Humanities” program (BA and MA) at the Department for Literary Computing, University of Würzburg. As always, comments are welcome! I’m a student at the University of Würzburg. My subjects are Philosophy and Digital Humanities. Last winter semester I had an interesting mix of courses: Quantitative Analysis...

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What’s the simplest way of telling verse and prose apart?

Everyone knows that verse and prose are different. Well, there are two exeptions: the first is Monsieur Jourdain in Molière’s play Le bourgois gentilhomme, who only learns about that difference from his “maître de philosophie”. The other exception is the computer, for which both prose and verse are simply and equally strings of characters. Now, if you have nice TEI-encoded texts,...

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How to Create Lemmatized (French) Text for Topic Modeling

It would not, some years ago, have occurred to me that anyone would want to reduce literary texts to the following pitiful state: “me avoir tu faire un rapport bien sincère / ne déguiser tu rien de ce que avoir dire mon père / tout mon sens à moi-même en être encor charmer : / il estimer Rodrigue autant que...

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Extracting selected text from XML files using lxml in Python

As you can probably guess from the title, this post is a companion piece to another recent post dealing with the creation of simple TEI from HTML in Python (actually, using Python as a wrapper to several Regular Expressions). Once you have created such TEI files, have annotated them more richly by hand or by some other means, or were...

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Of the Digital Humanities considered as a Jazz ensemble

We frequently speak of Digital Humanities projects – in which people from one or several disciplines such as literary studies, musicology and/or art history work together with colleagues from computer science and/or statistics – using concepts like inter- or transdisciplinarity or like collaboration.[1] The danger, we quickly notice, lies in the “divison of labor” such arrangements imply. Such division of...

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Enrichment by Elimination, or: How to turn HTML into simple TEI using Python

There are lots of full text repositories of literary works out there, be it the venerable Project Gutenberg (founded in 1971, when the internet was just a few dozen computers), a pioneer like Gallica (with increasing amounts of plain text in the 90-95% correct OCR range), or a crowdsourced efforts like Wikisource (with nifty quality indicators). Closer to my geographical...