Coleridge and the Authorship of Goethe’s Faustus

Coleridge and the Authorship of Goethe’s Faustus

An Attributional Stylometric Test

LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2016-02-17 )

€ 76,90

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This book tests the result proposed by Frederick Burwick and James McKusick and published by Oxford University Press in 2007 that Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the author of the anonymous translation of Goethe's Faust published by Thomas Boosey in 1821. The approach to result testing is stylometric. Specifically, function word usage is selected as the stylometric criterion, and 80 function words are used to define a 73-dimensional function word frequency profile vector for each text in the corpus of Coleridge's literary works and for a selection of works by a range of contemporary English authors. Each profile vector is a point in 80-dimensional vector space, and cluster analytic methods are used to determine the distribution of profile vectors in the space. If the hypothesis being tested is valid, then the profile for the 1821 translation should be closer in the space to works known to be by Coleridge than to works by the other authors. The cluster analytic results show, however, that this is not the case, and the conclusion is that the Burwick and McKusick result is falsified relative to the stylometric criterion and analytic methodology used.

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Refat Aljumily

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Language and literature science