Corpus linguistics & literature: A contrastive analysis of Dan Brown and Machado de Assis

Vander Viana, Fabiana Fausto, Sonia Zyngier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

The starting point for this research was an investigation in the Orkut virtual environment to find out real readers' literary reading preferences. Subjects indicated Machado de Assis as their favorite canonical author and Dan Brown as their option of popular writer. Having selected one literary work from each of the two authors mentioned - namely, 'Dom Casmurro' and 'O Código da Vinci' - this study compared both styles from the perspective of Corpus Linguistics. To this end, both novels were digitized, formatted and transformed into two corpora. With the help of WordSmith Tools (Scott, 1999), it was possible to identify the most frequent four-word lexical bundles (cf. Biber et al., 2004). These lexical bundles were then classified both structurally and functionally according to Biber et al.'s (2004) taxonomies. The results reveal a large number of repeated lexical bundles with similar structures and functions in 'O Código da Vinci'. This finding may account for the popularity of its reading when compared to that of 'Dom Casmurro'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTextos e leituras
Subtitle of host publicationEstudos empíricos de língua e literatura
EditorsSonia Zyngier, Vander Viana, Juliana Jandre
Place of PublicationRio de Janeiro
Pages233-256
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Literature
  • Empirical Science of Literature
  • Lexical bundles
  • Dan Brown
  • Machado de Assis

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