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Re: SYN - testing style

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... I am most interested to hear of this work. When I was researching Goulder s theories, I often wondered about trying some sort of stylometric study to see
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 13, 1998
      David Mealand wrote:

      > I would be grateful for some suggestions of recent (1992+) reading
      > relevant to the methods I am currently using to evaluate source
      > theories in relation to Matthew.
      >
      > I am using stylometric tests to see if there are differences between
      > blocks of material believed to be from Mark, Q or M in Matthew. In
      > order to do this I need to allow for stylistic effects due to genre
      > (see my recent article on Style and Genre in Mark in LLC 1997).
      >
      > I therefore have to work with very small samples of under 300 words.
      > (But for the effectiveness of this see Forsyth and Holmes in LLC
      > 1996).
      >
      > I divided the text of Matthew first into blocks believed to come
      > from the 3 sources mentioned. I then further divided each of these
      > blocks by genre. The doubly classified material was then partitioned
      > into 250 word samples. There are 61 of these.
      >
      > The criteria I am using on the 61 samples include numbers of nouns,
      > verbs, adjectives etc.; high frequency words such as kai, de, gar,
      > eis, en; words beginning with aut- or hum-, and words ending in
      > iota, sigma or nu.
      >
      > As I say any reading of books or articles from 1992 onwards that I
      > may have missed would be very welcome, the more so if it bears on
      > the method I am using.

      I am most interested to hear of this work. When I was researching
      Goulder's theories, I often wondered about trying some sort of
      stylometric study to see if it backed up his ideas. In the end I
      went for a simpler approach and looked for things like characteristic
      vocabulary, using Hawkins's and Goulder's criteria for
      'characteristic' and 'semi-characteristic' words and phrases. The
      results of the relevant parts of this study can be read in *Goulder
      and the Gospels* (JSNTSup, 133; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,
      1996), Chapters 2 and 3.

      Hawkins's criteria for characteristic vocabulary were actually
      somewhat crude -- they were purely numerical. But because of
      Goulder's reliance on them they provided a good way of testing his
      thesis against itself.

      Goulder did use other methods, though, like the analysis of Matthew's
      poetry and imagery, material that has never been taken very
      seriously, except perhaps by Sanders. Kenneth Newport, one of
      Sanders's students in Oxford, offers some criticism of Goulder's
      methods in *The Sources and Sitz-im-Leben of Matthew 23* (JSNTSup,
      117; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995).

      What is 'LLC'? I can't think of what it could be at the moment. I
      would be interested to read the articles you mention. It would be
      most interesting to hear more of your research on this too.

      The only book I have read on stylometry is Antony Kenny's which had
      the somewhat disturbing conclusion (if I remember correctly) that
      Paul wrote all the letters attributed to him with the exception
      only of Titus. Is there any danger that your own work might lead to
      a conclusion that many will exclude on non-stylometry grounds?

      With good wishes

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham
      Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre.htm
    • Brian E. Wilson
      David Mealand wrote - ... I am glad that someone is using non-parametric statistics to try and check out hypotheses like the Four Document Hyothesis of B. H.
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 13, 1998
        David Mealand wrote -
        >I would be grateful for some suggestions of recent (1992+) reading
        >relevant to the methods I am currently using to evaluate source
        >theories in relation to Matthew. I am using stylometric tests to see if
        >there are differences between blocks of material believed to be from
        >Mark, Q or M in Matthew.

        I am glad that someone is using non-parametric statistics to try and
        check out hypotheses like the Four Document Hyothesis of B. H. Streeter.
        My guess is that no significant stylometric differences will be found
        between passages in Matthew assigned on the Four Document Hypothesis to
        'Q', Mark or 'M'.

        Best wishes,
        BRIAN WILSON
      • James R. Adair
        ... LLC is Literary & Linguistic Computing, not a journal very many NT scholars read, but a standard among computing humanists. Jimmy Adair Manager of
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 13, 1998
          On Fri, 13 Feb 1998, Mark Goodacre wrote:

          > What is 'LLC'? I can't think of what it could be at the moment.

          LLC is Literary & Linguistic Computing, not a journal very many NT
          scholars read, but a standard among computing humanists.

          Jimmy Adair
          Manager of Information Technology Services, Scholars Press
          and
          Managing Editor of TELA, the Scholars Press World Wide Web Site
          -------------> http://shemesh.scholar.emory.edu <--------------
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