An automated text analysis: Willie Van Peer's academic contributions

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During the last 15 years there have been radical advances in computational linguistics that analyze language at the levels of words, sentences, paragraphs, rhetorical structure, world knowledge, pragmatics, and context. Among these advances is Coh-Metrix, a computer tool developed at the University of Memphis. Coh-Metrix ( is a facility on the web that automatically analyzes texts on numerous dimensions of words, syntax, referential cohesion, coherence of the mental models, and genre in addition to standard readability measures. This chapter analyzes some texts of Willie van Peer’s academic contributions with Coh-Metrix, following his appeal early in his career that computers might play an important role in exploring the characteristics of literary and non-literary texts. We tracked characteristics of his writing over two decades to explore how his writing style has changed.


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