Using Chawton House Library’s “Novels Online,” several corpora have been set up for a computer-aided textual analysis of the use of vocabulary by women writing “domestic novels” from 1752 to 1834. This corpus stylistics approach makes it possible to map texts according to their word usage and to identify quantitative keywords which provide vocabulary profiles through comparison and contrast with contemporary male and female canonical texts. Items identified include pronouns, markers of dialogue and of intensity; others can be grouped into specific lexical fields such as feelings. One text from the collection then forms the object of a case-study to explore a paradox: although Jane Taylor’s use of vocabulary in her 1817 Rachel appears the most representative of the corpus made up of 42 novels by women, this Chawton text has been called “a highly original tale.” Methodology and findings are both presented to address the challenge of identifying features which constitute typicality.
Chawton novels online, Women’s writing 1751-1834, Computer-aided textual analysis, Corpus stylistics, quantitative stylistics, Jane Taylor
"Chawton Novels Online, Women’s Writing 1751-1834 and Computer-Aided Textual Analysis,"
ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830: Vol.5: Iss.2, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/abo/vol5/iss2/1