What's in a Word-list?: Investigating Word Frequency and Keyword Extraction

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Dr Dawn Archer
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Oct 1, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 200 pages
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The frequency with which particular words are used in a text can tell us something meaningful both about that text and also about its author because their choice of words is seldom random. Focusing on the most frequent lexical items of a number of generated word frequency lists can help us to determine whether all the texts are written by the same author. Alternatively, they might wish to determine whether the most frequent words of a given text (captured by its word frequency list) are suggestive of potentially meaningful patterns that could have been overlooked had the text been read manually. This edited collection brings together cutting-edge research written by leading experts in the field on the construction of word-lists for the analysis of both frequency and keyword usage. Taken together, these papers provide a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the most exciting research being conducted in this subject.


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1 Does Frequency Really Matter?
2 Word Frequency Use or Misuse?
3 Word Frequency Statistical Stylistics and Authorship Attribution
Alternative Architectures for Examining Related Words Register Variation and Historical Change
First Catch Your Word
6 In Search of a Bad Reference Corpus
Mary Whitehouse and Media Censorship
8 The question is how cruel is it? Keywords Fox Hunting and the House of Commons
9 Love a familiar or a devil? An Exploration of Key Domains in Shakespeares Comedies and Tragedies
Appendix 1
Appendix 2

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About the author (2012)

Dawn Archer, Reader in Corpus Linguistics and Head of English Language and Linguistics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.

Dawn Archer, John M. Kirk, David L. Hoover, Mark Davies, Christian Kay, Mike Scott, Tony McEnery, Paul Baker, Jonathan Culpeper, Paul Rayson.

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