The frequency with which particular words are used in a text can tell us something meaningful both about that text and also about its author because their choice of words is seldom random. Focusing on the most frequent lexical items of a number of generated word frequency lists can help us to determine whether all the texts are written by the same author. Alternatively, they might wish to determine whether the most frequent words of a given text (captured by its word frequency list) are suggestive of potentially meaningful patterns that could have been overlooked had the text been read manually. This edited collection brings together cutting-edge research written by leading experts in the field on the construction of word-lists for the analysis of both frequency and keyword usage. Taken together, these papers provide a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the most exciting research being conducted in this subject.
'This book represents an impressive collection written by internationally renowned experts in the field, which provide insights into a range of key issues of theoretical and practical relevance in using wordlists and keyword lists, the backbone of the corpus-based approach to text analysis. I also find the case studies presented in these chapters both interesting and inspiring.' Richard Xiao, Edge Hill University, UK 'An exciting collection exploring issues that are fundamental to corpus linguistics and demonstrating the wider potential of corpus methods for language studies. A stimulating book in many ways.' Michaela Mahlberg, University of Liverpool, UK 'What's in a Word-List? is an impressive and exciting collection of papers exploring issues that are fundamental to corpus linguistics. This collection of papers provides a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the most exciting research being conducted in the subject. Researchers interested in word frequency issues will therefore find this book a most valuable addition to their academic literature collection.' The Electronic Library, Vol 27, no 6 'Each chapter is complete in itself, and together the chapters provide a fascinating insight into the sometimes quirky and arcane world of text analysis. The result is an easy to read, engaging and always interesting book.' Library Hi Tech, Vol 28, Issue 4, 2010
Contents: Does frequency really matter?, Dawn Archer; Word frequency use or misuse?, John M. Kirk; Word frequency, statistical stylistics and authorship attribution, David L. Hoover; Word frequency in context: alternative architectures for examining related words, register variation and historical change, Mark Davies; Issues for historical and regional corpora: first catch your word, Christian Kay; In search of a bad reference corpus, Mike Scott; Keywords and moral panics: Mary Whitehouse and media censorship, Tony McEnery; 'The question is, how cruel is it?' Keywords, foxhunting and the House of Commons, Paul Baker; Love - 'a familiar or a devil'? An exploration of key domains in Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies, Dawn Archer, Jonathan Culpeper and Paul Rayson; Promoting the wider use of word frequency and keyword extraction techniques, Dawn Archer; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
Digital technologies are increasingly important to arts and humanities research, expanding the horizons of research methods in all aspects of data capture, investigation, analysis, modelling, presentation and dissemination. This series, one of the first and most highly regarded in the field, covers a wide range of disciplines and provides an authoritative reflection of the 'state of the art' in the application of computing and technology. The titles in this peer-reviewed series are critical reading not just for experts in digital humanities and technology issues, but for all scholars working in arts and humanities who need to understand the issues around digital research.