‘And Quiet Flows the Don’ is an epic novel, considered one of the most significant works of Russian and world literature. The debate on the authorship of ‘And Quiet Flows the Don’ had been surrounding the novel since its first release in 1928 by Mikhail Sholokhov, who was repeatedly accused of plagiarism. The supporters of the plagiarism theory often indicate that the real author of the novel is the Cossack writer, Fyodor Kryukov, who died before ‘And Quiet Flows the Don’ was published. In the present study we applied the information-based similarity analysis (Yang et al., 2003a, Linguistic analysis of human heartbeats using frequency and rank order statistics. Physical Review Letters, 90: 108103; Yang et al., 2003b, Information categorization approach to literary authorship disputes. Physica A, 329, 473) and Burrows's Delta (Burrows, 2002, ‘Delta’: a measure of stylistic difference and a guide to likely authorship. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 17(3):267–87) to a corpus of Russian literature of XIX and XX centuries. We next used these two methods to compare ‘And Quiet Flows the Don’ to Sholokhov’s and Kryukov’s writings. It was found that Fyodor Kryukov writings are distinct from ‘And Quiet Flows the Don’, whilst Sholokhov’s writings being close to the Don novel. The results also highlight how both information similarity analysis and Delta analysis can be used Russian language.
This paper presents a study of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace by means of automatic syntactic and semantic analysis. Using a parser that extracts syntactic dependencies and semantic roles, we were able to compare different characters of the novel in terms of the semantic roles they tend to occupy. Our data shows that there are certain dependencies between the apparent personal traits of a character and his or her positions within the predicate structures. We hope that further research will help us gain more insights into the ‘literary technique’ of Tolstoy and enable us to create a semantic markup of his works.
Vossian Antonomasia is a prolific stylistic device, in use since antiquity. It can compress the introduction or description of a person or another named entity into a terse, poignant formulation and can best be explained by an example: When Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen is described as "the Mozart of chess", it is Vossian Antonomasia we are dealing with. The pattern is simple: A source (Mozart) is used to describe a target (Magnus Carlsen), the transfer of meaning is reached via a modifier ("of chess"). This phenomenon has been discussed before (as 'metaphorical antonomasia' or, with special focus on the source object, as 'paragons'), but no corpus-based approach has been undertaken as yet to explore its breadth and variety. We are looking into a full-text newspaper corpus (The New York Times, 1987–2007) and describe a new method for the automatic extraction of Vossian Antonomasia based on Wikidata entities. Our analysis offers new insights into the occurrence of popular paragons and their distribution.