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Re: [Synoptic-L] NT stylostatistical measurements

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  • John C. Poirier
    Thanks, John, for listing these stylostatistical studies. I can add two that are invaluable for any stylostatistical analysis of the synoptic gospels: Stephen
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 11, 2001
      Thanks, John, for listing these stylostatistical studies.

      I can add two that are invaluable for any stylostatistical analysis of the
      synoptic gospels:

      Stephen Robert Llewelyn, "A Stylometric Analysis of Parallel Sections of
      the Synoptic Gospels," (unpublished) Ph.D. diss., Macquarie University,

      A.J.M. Linmans, *Onderschikking in de synoptische Evangelien: Syntaxis,
      discourse-functies en stilometrie* (Leiden: Nederlandse Organisatie voor
      Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, 1995).

      (My thanks to Dr. Stephen Llewelyn for sending me a diskette copy of his
      dissertation, and to Dr. Peter Head for calling it to my attention.)

      John C. Poirier
      Middletown, Ohio

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "John Lupia" <jlupia2@...>
      To: <Synoptic-L@...>
      Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2001 2:34 PM
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] NT stylostatistical measurements


      I have been following the discussion of Marcan and Lucan Wording that has
      been going on for several weeks. Emmanuel depends on Boismard's analysis of
      style which is of very little value. Brian has shown some intellectual
      effort in making sense of word frequencies that shows some merit on his
      part. Stephen provided some chi-square analysis of the Synoptics. However,
      chi-square statistics of word usage is of very little value in New Testament

      I think what is missing in this discussion is:

      First, any reference to stylolinguistics, or linguistic stylistics, which is
      a literary critical theory developed by the Russian literary theorist Roman
      Jacobson (1896-1983). A linguistic approach to the study of style
      incorporated microanalytical studies of word use, metrics and sentence

      Second, more accurate to this approach is the science of stylostatistical
      measurement, or stylometrics, based on Yule's Characteristic (K), which is
      the focus of study in statistical linguistics. This specialty investigates
      word frequency and distribution analysing them in three separate methods.
      (1) analsis of adjuncts, vocabulary, and the length of words, lines and
      sentences. (2) semantic analysis of the author's linguistic knowledge
      including the scope, range, and level of vocabulary. (3) analysis of
      separate and pairs of words, and hapax legomena. Yule's Characteristic (K),
      devised by the Cambridge statistician, George Udny Yule (1871-1951). The
      Yule Characteristic (K) is a measure of the chance that any two nouns
      selected at random from a text will be identical. It, therefore, measures
      the complexity of the vocabulary of a text analysing its range, scope,
      level, and most importantly, repetitiveness.

      For further reading see:

      Rebecca Posner, "The Use and Abuse of Stylistic Statistics." Archivum
      Linguisticum XV (1963): 111-119

      Charles Muller, "Lexical Distribution Reconsidered: The Waring-Herdan
      Formula." Cahiers de Lexicologie VI (1965): 35-53;

      Anthony Kenny (1982).The Computation of Style: An Introduction to Statistics
      for Students of Literature and Humanities, Oxford: Pergamon Press;

      Anthony Kenny, A Stylometric Study of the New Testament (Oxford-New
      York-Toronto-Sydney-Paris-Frankfurt;136 pages, September 1986;

      Kenneth J. Neumann, The Authenticity of the Pauline Epistles in the Light of
      Stylostatistical Analysis. SBLDS, no. 120. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.

      The writings of Kenny and Neumann should be of particular interest since
      they are efforts in application to the New Testament. Yet, no one has cited
      these works in the history of the Synoptic-L egroup.

      Third, other mathematical models as theoretical foundations for
      computational linguistics include: Victor Yngve's depth hypothesis and
      syntactic complexity; (Andrei Andreyevich Markov) Markov-chain models of
      word and sentence generation, Claude Shannon's information theory;
      (Yehoshua Bar-Hillel and Rudolf Carnap) Carnap and Bar-Hillel's semantic
      theory; lexicostatistics and stylostatistics, (Siméon Denis Poisson)
      Poisson's Law of frequency; (Frank Benford) Bedford's Law of frequency;
      (George Kingsley Zipf) Zipf's law of frequency; (Benoit Mandelbrot)
      Mandelbrot's rank hypothesis.

      Peace in Christ,

      John N. Lupia
      501 North Avenue B-1
      Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
      <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>

      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches . .
      . unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until
      they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16

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