Journal Article

The application of principal component analysis to stylometry

JNG Binongo and MWA Smith

in Literary and Linguistic Computing

Published on behalf of ALLC: The European Association for Digital Humanities

Volume 14, issue 4, pages 445-466
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 0268-1145
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1477-4615 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/llc/14.4.445
The application of principal component analysis to stylometry

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In recent years principal component analysis has become popular for investigations in computational stylistics, particularly for studies of authorship. The mathematical nature of the theory that underpins the method makes it rather inaccessible to linguists and literary scholars. Consequently, confidence in its correct application is diminished. By first restricting the procedure to the use of two marker words, a pictorial description of its operation is derived. Some characteristics of the method are then examined. Finally, in the context of a Shakespearean example the technique is extended to p words, and suggestions are advanced to alleviate possible shortcomings.

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Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning ; Computational Linguistics ; Bibliography ; Digital Lifestyle ; Information and Communication Technologies

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