Literary Detective Work on the Computer

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Computational linguistics can be used to uncover mysteries in text which are not always obvious to visual inspection. For example, the computer analysis of writing style can show who might be the true author of a text in cases of disputed authorship or suspected plagiarism. The theoretical background to authorship attribution is presented in a step by step manner, and comprehensive reviews of the field are given in two specialist areas, the writings of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and the various writing styles seen in religious texts. The final chapter looks at the progress computers have made in the decipherment of lost languages. This book is written for students and researchers of general linguistics, computational and corpus linguistics, and computer forensics. It will inspire future researchers to study these topics for themselves, and gives sufficient details of the methods and resources to get them started.

Subjects: Computational & corpus linguistics; Natural language processing

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Wolverhampton

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