It’s been a good couple of weeks here at Indiana University and elsewhere for those interested in textual analysis. It’s an exciting idea, being able to gather and analyze linguistic data to create new inferences and meaningful derivations. The benefit of being able to interact with vast digital corpora is self-evident, if only for the info available through the base utility of cordancing. Navigating the various web interfaces to access corpora can be somewhat varied, however; most online examples are limited to the intent of the designer, based off personal preferences or project needs.
What interests me in the development of text analysis tools, in conjunction with growing interest in their use, is the repeated sense that “we don’t know what we don’t know.” There seems to be a welcomed element of the chaotic in surfing these texts, allowing for data retrieval which defies the general mental models of research. As with with all emergent technologies, and perhaps more so in the arts and humanities, it begs to wonder whether this sense of wonder will be edited and refined out of future analytic tools.
Caught your interest? Check out:
“Text Analysis Tools for Basic Exploration,” Markus Dickinson at the IU Catapult Center
“Doing Things With Text,” Lisa Spiro
Have the skills but just don’t have the power (captain)?: