One of the areas which some computational linguists are interested in is what is sometimes calledstylometrics. In this field, linguistic features of texts are analysed to make attributions of authorship. The use of computers has made it possible to apply these techniques in a precise and quantitative way.
Although J.K.Rowling has outed herself as author of the novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, in the period where this was a matter for speculation a leader in the field of stylometrics looked at the evidence. Patrick Juola has written an account of his investigation published via the wonderful Language Log.
Juola looked at a rather small body of data (by the standards of computational linguists these days), but he did include samples from a number of writers for comparison (known in the trade as ‘distractors’). His results, as he explains scrupulously, do not lead to a clear attribution of authorship; they do point to Rowling as the most likely author, and they pretty much rule out all the other authors included.
It’s an interesting read, giving a flavour of what people do with computers and language, and also the limitations of this sort of approach. Any students (or potential students) reading this and feeling twinges of interest should note that I teach an introduction to computational linguistics every second year (offered again in 2014). Feel free to enrol!
Reinterpreting ‘Italian’ for the 21st century
In an era when millions of people living in countries other than Italy identify themselves…
Harder to Bring to Heel Than Putin Expected
by Marko Pavlyshyn The destruction of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Eastern Ukraine and the…
Monash student goes to the United Nations
Alistair Bayley visited the United Nations in New York as one of the winners of the Many Languages, One World essay contest.
Face of AIDS and HIV: an international film archive
The School of Media, Film and Journalism is proud to host a special preview of Transmission: The Journey…
The case for Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore
By Stewart King Crime novel covers are often plastered with endorsements: “A terrific read,” “A…
New Colombo plan scholarships awarded to Monash language students
Monash language students have found success through the New Colombo Plan (NCP) scholarship program….
Sonic Japan Digital Respository Launch
The Japanese Studies Centre invites you to the launch of the Sonic Japan Digital Repository…
New Double Master Degree with Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan
Monash University and Kobe City University of Foreign Studies are pleased to announce a new double…
Success for Monash in Chinese Bridge competition
The School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics is proud to announce the success of…
Monash at the Emerging Writers’ Festival: Translation Nation
Monash PhD candidate Angela Tarantini will take part in an Emerging Writers’ Festival event, ‘Translation…
One man’s wink is another’s winken – what did Abbott do?
23rd May 2014 by Howard Manns Tony Abbott isn’t the first pollie to get into trouble with…
Global Citizen Wins International Essay Contest
Chinese Studies student Alistair Bayley will participate in a 5 day Global Youth Forum, held in…