A Corpus Linguistic Approach to Literary Language and Characterization
Virginia Woolf's The Waves
This book focusses on computer methodologies as a way of investigating language and character in literary texts. Both theoretical and practical, it surveys investigations into characterization in literary linguistics and personality in social psychology, before carrying out a computational analysis of Virginia Woolf’s experimental novel The Waves. Frequencies of grammatical and semantic categories in the language of the six speaking characters are analyzed using Wmatrix software developed by UCREL at Lancaster University. The quantitative analysis is supplemented by a qualitative analysis into recurring patterns of metaphor. The author concludes that these analyses successfully differentiate all six characters, both synchronically and diachronically, and claims that this methodology is also applicable to the study of personality in non-literary language. The book, written in a clear and accessible style, will be of interest to post-graduate students and academics in linguistics, stylistics, literary studies, psychology and also computational approaches.
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 18] 2014. xxi, 277 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of conventions
List of figures and tables
List of appendixes
List of concordances
2. Virginia Woolf's The Waves
3. Literature review
4. Corpus approaches to the study of language and literature
6. Character differentiation through word-classes
7. Character differentiation: Semantic fields
“This book presents an original and systematic approach to characterisation in Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and provides an excellent demonstration of how corpus-based methods can address issues relevant to both stylisticians and literary critics.”
Elena Semino, Lancaster University
“This interesting and clearly written book describes a quantitative study of the individual characters’ spoken words in Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves”. Both technical details of the computer packages and statistical tests used and a suitable literary analysis of the book are brought together, including a discussion of why the narrative structure of “The Waves” makes it particularly amenable to a quantitative analysis. All the steps in the analysis are carefully explained, including the pre-processing of the original corpus, part of speech and semantic tagging using the Wmatrix tool developed by Paul Rayson at Lancaster University, the visualisation of the output in Microsoft Excel, and a statistical analysis of character idiolects using the Log-Likelihood measure. The analysis is both synchronic, comparing the speeches of the individual characters who appear in the book, and diachronic, following changes in the characters’ speech throughout their lifetimes. The findings show that the characters are indeed differentiated and that these differences are more pronounced during their adolescence and in later life. Since previous critics using traditional analyses have claimed to have found no language differences between the six characters, this book shows how a macroscopic, quantitative analysis of a literary work can provide evidence for language distinctions that a “naked eye” reading might miss. The methodology described in this book is of general applicability to corpus studies of literary texts, and thus will inspire future work in computational stylometry. However, rather than comparing the frequencies of lexical words to compare speech samples, Balossi has taken the relatively novel approach of comparing the frequencies of parts of speech and semantic fields. A particularly useful feature of this book is the thorough use of footnotes to guide the reader to each of the online linguistic resources mentioned in the book.”
Michael Oakes, University of Wolverhampton
“This book contains an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of Virginia Woolf's The Waves. It exploits the full power of a multidisciplinary approach using corpus linguistics and computational methods to investigate the linguistic differentiation of the six characters in the novel and goes well beyond the simple counting of word frequencies or function words. But the author also goes further to locate the study in the appropriate contexts of the cognitive model of characterization, authorship attribution, cognitive metaphor theory, stylistics and literary criticism. The author is to be congratulated on taking all these disparate theoretical and practical elements and weaving them together in such an interesting book. Not only will this book appeal to those interested in the work of Woolf but also those who wish to learn how to apply similar methods more widely in the study of characterization in literature.”
Paul Rayson, Lancaster University
“A Corpus Linguistic Approach to Literary Language and Characterization Virginia Woolf's The Waves is a strong and valuable contribution to the computational study of literature. I especially like the thoroughness of the book’s treatment of earlier criticism on The Waves. The close attention to that criticism helps to focus the study, which also effectively presents some strong corrective arguments against some strains within it. The book is an excellent partial answer to Stephen Ramsay’s claim that trying to solve the question of whether the voices are different is a category mistake: it shows rather definitively that there “really”are different voices. I will want to go back over the book more closely later, but I especially appreciated chapter 7: in spite of some doubts I have about the semantic categorization that the chapter is based upon (even after the reasonable corrections offered there), I think the closer attention to the lexis of the novel in chapter 7 makes it more satisfying than the analysis of categories in chapter 6. The multiple methods and theories used in the book seem a bit surprising at first, but it makes very good use of a variety of approaches and does a good job of wrapping them up into an effective and persuasive final package.”
David Hoover, New York University
Cited by other publications
Brooke, Julian, Adam Hammond & Graeme Hirst
Piao, Scott, Fraser Dallachy, Alistair Baron, Jane Demmen, Steve Wattam, Philip Durkin, James McCracken, Paul Rayson & Marc Alexander
Smith, Nicholas & Cathleen Waters
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 24 november 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Abbott, Porter H.
Allport, Gordon W.
Andersen, Susan M. & Klatzky, Roberta L.
Andersen, Susan M. & Cole, Steve W.
Andersen, Susan M., Klatzky, Roberta L. & Murray, John
Apter, Terri E.
Archer, Dawn, Wilson, Andrew & Rayson, Paul
2002 Introduction to the USAS category system, 1–37. http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/usas/usas%20guide.pdf (28 July 2012).
Archer, Dawn, Culpeper, Jonathan & Davies, Matthew
Archer, Dawn, Culpeper, Jonathan & Rayson, Paul
Argamon, Shlomo & Levitan, Shlomo
1999 Language as ideology: Transitivity and ergativity in the female voices of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, 1–27. [PALA (Poetics and Linguistic Association) Occasional Papers 10]. http://www.pala.ac.uk/resources/op/Paper10.pdf (10 March 2012).
Baayen, Harald R.
Barthes, Roland, Greimas, Algirdas J., Bremond, Claude, Eco, Umberto, Morin, Violette, Metz, Christian, Todorov, Tzvetan & Genette, Gerard
Bartlett, Frederic C.
2004 Conversation text types: A multi-dimensional analysis. JADT, 7es Journées internationales d’Analyse statistique des Données Textuelles , 1–34. http://lexicometrica.univ-paris3.fr/jadt/jadt2004/pdf/JADT_000.pdf (13 June 2013).
Biber, Douglas, Conrad, Susan & Reppen, Randi
Bishop, Edward L.
Booker, Keith M.
Bradley, Andrew C.
Brewer, William F. & Nakamura, Glenn V.
2008 Virginia Woolf meets Sigmund Freud. Canvas 18: 13–28. http://www.charleston.org.uk (20 July 2013).
Brown, Penelope & Levinson, Stephen C.
Brun, Georg, Doguoglu, Ulvi & Kuenzle, Dominique
Burrows, John F.
Campbell, Sherlock R. & Pennebaker, James W.
Cantor, Nancy & Mischel, Walter
Caramagno, Thomas C.
Carter, Jason, Fengl, Kristina & Moore, Betty
1997 Virginia Woolf’s The Waves . http://www.uah.edu/woolf/waves.html (10 April 2011).
Caughie, Pamela L.
Chung, Cindy K. & Pennebaker, James W.
Cohen, Gillian, Kiss, George & Le Voi, Martin
Colley, Ann & Todd, Zazie
Corns, Thomas N.
2002 Computers, language and characterisation: An analysis of six characters in Romeo and Juliet . In Conversation in Life and in Literature: Papers from the ASLA Symposium [Association Suedoise de Linguistique Appliquee (ASLA) 15], Ulla Melander-Marttala, Carin Östman & Merja Kytö (eds), 11–30. Uppsala: Universitetstryckeriet.
DeForest, Mary & Johnson, Eric
Dixon, Peter & Bortolussi, Marisa
Eder, Jens, Jannidis, Fotis & Schneider, Ralf
Eliot, Thomas S.
Eysenck, Michael W. & Keane, Mark T.
Fiske, Susan T.
Fiske, Susan T. & Neuberg, Steven L.
Fludernik, Monika, Freeman, Donald C. & Freeman, Margaret H.
Freeman, Donald C.
Garside, Roger, Leech, Geoffrey & McEnery, Anthony
Garside, Roger & Smith, Nicholas
Gottschalk, Louis A. & Gleser, Goldine C.
Graham, John W.
Graham, John W.
Grice, Paul H.
Hamilton, David L. & Gifford, Robert K.
Hardy, Donald E.
Hartman, Geoffrey H.
Havard-Williams, Peter & Havard-Williams, Margaret
2000 Virginia Woolf’s two bodies. Genders Online Journal 31: 1–22. <http://www.genders.org/g31/g31_hite.html> (10 July 2012).
Hogenraad, Robert, McKenzie, Dean P. & Martindale, Colin
Hogenraad, Robert, McKenzie, Dean P. & Péladeau, Norman
Hoover, David L.
Hoover, David L., Culpeper, Jonathan & O’Halloran, Kieran
Jung, Carl Gustav.
Kelley, Alice van Buren
Kirkpatrick, Brownlee J. & Clarke, Stuart Nelson
Knapp, John V.
1998 The resistant social/sexual subjectivity of Hall’s Ogilvy and Woolf’s Rhoda. Rocky Mountain Review 1–35, Fall, 63. <http://rmmla.org/ereview/52.2/pdfs/52-2-1998akrampm.pdf> (21 August 2013).
Krippendorff, Klaus H.
Kumar, Shiv K.
Kunda, Ziva & Thagard
Lakoff, George & Turner, Mark
Leaska, Mitchell A.
2005 Adding linguistic annotation. In Developing Linguistic Corpora: A Guide to Good Practice , Martin Wynne (ed.), 17–29. Oxford: Oxbow Books. <http://ahds.ac.uk/linguistic-corpora/> (16 January 2012).
Leech, Geoffrey N.
Leech, Geoffrey N. & Fligelstone, Steven
Leech, Geoffrey N. & Short, Mick H.
Leech, Geoffrey N., Smith, Nicholas & Rayson, Paul
Lorsch, Susan E.
Louw, William E.
2005 Dressing up waiver: A stochastic collocational reading of the ‘Truth and Reconcilitation Commission (TRC).’ Occasional papers, 1–78. Bologna: Centro di Studi Linguistico-Culturali. <http://www.lingue.unibo.it/ceslic/e_occ_papers.htm. Pdf > (10 July 2013).
Louw, William E.
Lucenti, Lisa M.
Lüdeling, Anke & Kytö, Merja
Lüdeling, Anke & Zeldes, Amir
2008 Three views on corpora: Corpus linguistics, literary computing, and computational linguistics. Jahrbuch für Computerphilologie 9: 149–178.<http://computerphilologie.tu-darmstadt.de/jg07/luedzeldes.html> (3 March 2012).
Mahlberg, Michaela & McIntyre, Dan
McAdams, Dan P., Anydoho, Nana Akua A., Brown, Chelsea, Huang, Yi Ting, Kaplan, Bonnie & Machado, Mary A.
McConnell, Frank D.
McEnery, Tony & Xiao, Zhonghua
McVee, Mary B., Dunsmore, Kailannie & Gavelek, James R.
1985 Feminine Writing and the Problem of the Self: An Examination of Virginia Woolf’s Novels in the Light of Recent Critical and Psychoanalytic Theories. PhD dissertation, University of Warwick. Electronic reproduction. Coventry: University of Warwick Library 2011.<http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1444542~S15> (10 June 2013).
1974 A framework for representing knowledge. MIT-AI Laboratory Memo N° 306. <http://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/papers/frames/frames.html> (20 November 2009).
Miranda García, Antonio & Calle, Martín Javier
Mosteller, Frederick & Wallace, David L.
Mulac, Anthony, Bradac, James J. & Gibbons, Pamela
2002 Virginia Woolf’s The Waves: A novel of silence. <http://www.uniss.it/lingue/annali_file/vol_2/04_Mulas.pdf> (2 August 2013).
Muller, Herbert J.
1937 Virginia Woolf and feminine fiction. The Saturday Review of Literature 15: 3–4. <www.unz.org/Pub/SaturdayRev-1937feb06-00003> (2 November 2013).
Newman, Matthew L., Pennebaker, James W., Berry, Diane & Richards, Jane M.
Newman, Matthew L., Groom, Carla J., Handelman, Lori D. & Pennebaker, James W.
Book review of The Waves . Action , 8 October 1931, 8.
2007 A corpus-driven approach to genre analysis: The reinvestigation of academic, newspaper and literary texts. ELR Journal 1(2). <http://ejournals.org.uk/ELR/article/2007/2> (29 July 2013).
Oakes, Michael P. & Ji, Meng
Opas, Lisa L. & Rommel, Thomas
Orr, Douglas W.
Patmore, Coventry K. D.
Patton, Jon M. & Can, Fazly
van Peer, Willie
Pennebaker, James W.
Pennebaker, James W. & King, Laura A.
Pennebaker, James W. & Lay, Thomas C.
Pennebaker, James W., Mehl, Matthias R. & Niederhoffer, Kate G.
Pennebaker, James W. & Ireland, Molly E.
Pervin, Lawrence A.
Piao, Scott S. L., Rayson, Paul, Archer, Dawn & McEnery, Tony
Piazza, Roberta, Bednarek, Monika & Rossi, Fabio
Poznanski, Mike & Thagard, Paul
Quirk, Randolph, Greenbaum, Sidney, Leech, Geoffrey N. & Svartvik, Jan
Ramsay, Stephen & Steger, Sara
2012. Wmatrix: A Web-based Corpus Processing Environment . Computing Department, Lancaster University, v.3. http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/wmatrix/>
Reicher, Maria E.
Richardson, Robert O.
Robson, Mark & Stockwell, Peter
2004 Of what is past, or passing, or to come. Electronic analysis of literary texts. In Jahrbuch für Computerphilologie , 5, George Braungart, Karl Eibl & Fotis Jannidis (eds), 201–216. Paderborn: mentis. http://computerphilologie.tu-darmstadt.de/jg03/jb5_Endfassung (20 March 2012).
Rumelhart, David E. & Ortony, Andrew
Schank, Roger C. & Abelson, Robert P.
Schnurr, Paula P., Rosenberg, Stanley D., Oxman, Thomas E. & Tucker, Gary J.
Scholes, Robert, Phelan, James & Kellogg, Robert
Scott, Michael & Tribble, Christopher
Semin, Gün R.
Semino, Elena & Swindlehurst, Kate
Semino, Elena & Culpeper, Jonathan
Semino, Elena & Short, Mick
Sinclair, John McH., Jones, Susan, Daley, Robert & Krishnamurthy, Ramesh
Slatcher, Richard B., Chung, Cindy K., Pennebaker, James W. & Stone, Lori D.
Smith, Joseph A. & Kelly, Colleen
Stamou, Constantina & Forsyth, Richard S.
2000 Dating Dickinson: An experimental approach to stylochronometry. ALLC/ACH 2000 Joint International Conference of the Association for Literary & Linguistic Computing and the Association for Computers and the Humanities. Glasgow, July 2000.
Stewart, Jack F.
Stewart, Larry L.
Stone, Philip J., Dunphy, C. Dexter & Smith, Marshall S.
1988 A Computer-assisted Analysis of Characterisation in Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves.” MA thesis, Melbourne University. http://andrew.treloar.net/research/theses/masters/ (20 April 2011).
de Troyes, Chrétien
Ungerer, Friedrich & Schmid, Hans-Jörg
Unsigned review of The Waves . San Francisco Chronicle , 6 December 1931 In Contemporary Reviews for The Waves . http://www.uah.edu/woolf/waves.html (11 November 2013).
Viana, Vander, Fausto, Fabiana & Zyngier, Sonia
Viana, Vander, Zyngier, Sonia & Barnbrook, Geoff
Ward Jouve, Nicole
Watson, Greg & Zyngier, Sonia
Weber, Robert P.
1990. Basic Content Analysis, 2nd edn. Newbury Park CA: Sage.
Widdowson, Henry G.
Wilson, Andrew & Leech, Geoffrey N.
Literature & Literary Studies
BIC Subject: DSBH – Literary studies: from c 1900 -
BISAC Subject: LIT004120 – LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh