Ullyot Presentation 2016

Toward an Augmented Criticism

The Augmented Criticism lab is detecting features of repetition and variation in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries (starting with drama). We’ve begun with rhetorical figures that repeat lemmas (heed, heedful, heeding) or morphemes (heeding, wringing, vexing). We use natural-language processing to discover if these unnatural formulations signal natural habits of thought. The interpretive payoff is our ability to make more definitive arguments not just about these figures, but also about the cognitive processes they signal.

This paper will describe our process and our corpus, and present a range of our results with an initial corpus (the Folger’s Digital Anthology texts) before we expand to the billion words in the EEBO-TCP corpus (1473-1700).

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