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Pull Out All The Stops: Textual Analysis via Punctuation Sequences (Mason Porter, UCLA)

February 27 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

Abstract: Whether enjoying the lucid prose of a favorite author or
slogging through some other writer’s cumbersome, heavy-set prattle (full
of parentheses, em-dashes, compound adjectives, and Oxford commas),
readers will notice stylistic signatures not only in word choice and
grammar, but also in punctuation itself. Indeed, visual sequences of
punctuation from different authors produce marvelously different (and
visually striking) sequences. Punctuation is a largely overlooked
stylistic feature in “stylometry”, the quantitative analysis of written
text. In this paper, we examine punctuation sequences in a corpus of
literary documents and ask the following questions: Are the properties of
such sequences a distinctive feature of different authors? Is it possible
to distinguish literary genres based on their punctuation sequences? Do
the punctuation styles of authors evolve over time? Are we on to something
interesting in trying to do stylometry without words, or are we full of
sound and fury (signifying nothing)?

For more information, see our recent preprint (joint work with Alexandra
Darmon, Marya Bazzi, and Sam Howison):
https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/2rzsg

Details

Date:
February 27
Time:
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Event Category:

Other

Speaker Name
Mason Porter

Venue

Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College
301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
+ Google Map

Details

Date:
February 27
Time:
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Event Category:

Other

Speaker Name
Mason Porter

Venue

Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College
301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
+ Google Map