Key words and key phrases in a corpus of travel writing
WordSmith Tools offers three procedures (key words, key-key words and associates) to select words from texts that are noteworthy in a statistical sense. All three procedures are applied in the present paper in order to make visible, statistically, the most noticeable propositional and stylistic changes in the representation of a specific field of interest over the course of five centuries. Some of these quantitative results (identified through key-key words) are followed up in more detail and their development and role throughout the centuries is discussed, for example in grammaticalization processes. These findings are supplemented further by an analysis of the most frequent phrases and n-grams, again diachronically. Together, they show the development of linguistic habits in society.