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Corpus and Literary Criticism : An Analysis of Tess of the d'Urbervilles Using Concordancers

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Title: Corpus and Literary Criticism : An Analysis of Tess of the d'Urbervilles Using Concordancers
Authors: Matsuda, Masako
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2007
Citation: 長崎大学総合環境研究. 2007, 10(1), p. 35-44
Abstract: Close reading is considered important in the criticism of English literature; however, in analyzing novels researchers should make a precise memo to record how and where certain words are used in the work. If we could use both corpus made up from electronic texts on the internet and a concordancer, it would make the above efforts much easier. In this essay Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles was examined by using three tools of WordSmith, a concordance software, in comparison with George Eliot's Middlemarch and Sommerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage. WordSmith is a set of programs, which has three main tools called Wordlist, Keywords, and Concord. Wordlist as a tool makes a list of all the words in a text, set out in frequency order. With Keywords, the key words can be observed by comparing its wordlist with that of other reference text(s). Concord, a concordancer, can be used to plot any keyword or phrase in context to check what sort of wording it accompanies. With these tools we could get a lot of linguistic information about the text, which leads us deeper understanding of the novel. Especially, Concord gives useful information on wording about keywords of a novel. How to select keywords is up to each researcher; however, concordance lines can help us to gain a clear view about a theme. In this way a concordancer is a useful tool for literary criticism.
Keywords: literary criticism / concordancer / Tess of the d'Urbervilles / WordSmith / corpus
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10069/21489
ISSN: 13446258
Type: Departmental Bulletin Paper
Text Version: publisher
Appears in Collections:Volume 10, No. 1

Citable URI : http://hdl.handle.net/10069/21489

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