Stylometry for medieval authorship studies : an application to rhyme wordsStylometry for medieval authorship studies : an application to rhyme words
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Institute for the Study of Literature in the Low Countries (ISLN)
1(2012):1, p. 42-72
University of Antwerp
In the digital humanities much research has been done concerning stylometry, the computational study of style. Literary authorship at-tribution, especially, has been a central topic. After a brief introduction, I will discuss the enormous potential of this paradigm for medieval philology, a field that studies so many texts of unknown or disputed origin. At the same time, it will be stressed that stylometrys application to medieval texts is currently not without problems: many attribution techniques are still controversial and do not account for the specific nature of medieval text production. Throughout this paper, I will tentatively apply two well-established attribution techniques (principal components analysis and Burrowss Delta) to a number of case studies in Middle Dutch studies. These analyses shall be restricted to rhyme words, since these words are less likely to have been altered by scribes.