Pamphlet #8. Computational text analysis as a five-dimensional problem: A model for the description of complexity

by Evelyn Gius.
November 2019

Computational approaches to literary studies, based on a number of both new and established procedures that enable computational text analysis in the interest of literary research, are now an integral part of Digital Humanities. Accordingly, there is a great need for description of and reflection upon these approaches, both within the Digital Humanities and with regard to the relationship between computational literary studies and non-computational literary studies. In an effort to facilitate such reflection, this paper presents a model that captures the complexity of computational text analysis, in relation to the phenomena and texts under consideration, as well as to the findings of the analysis. Specifically, five dimensions are proposed by which any computational text analysis in literary studies – and beyond – can be described: (1) the composition of the analyzed phenomena, (2) the contextualization of the phenomena, (3) the heterogeneity of the considered texts, (4) the mode of analysis, and (5) the cognitive contribution of computational analysis.


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