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Prelims Paper 1: Introduction to English Language and Literature: Text analysis tools

Subjects: English

Introduction to Text Analysis tools

Text analysis tools aide the interpreter asking questions of electronic texts
Geoffrey Rockwell

You can use text analysis tools to automatically extract information from a text or a collection of texts. The tools can help you get a different view of a text, to generate or test hypoteses, to compare two or more texts.

Text analysis tools will let you extract quantitative information about texts, automatically compare and contrast texts, identify and extract information from texts and much more. There are different kinds of tools. Some can be used via an online interface, others can be installed locally on your computer.

Useful links

If you have a text, for example retrieved from a database like LION, you can run that through a text analysis tool and get information or see patterns that may otherwise be difficult to spot.

Concordance tools - search for a word or phrase and see all instances in your text, displayed with a limited amount of context

  • Antconc http://www.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/ - a tool that you install locally and use to explore texts in various ways, for example by creating concordances, word lists and collocations.
  • LexTutor http://www.lextutor.ca/  - a set of tools that you can use on pre-loaded texts or material that you add. Includes a concordance program, word list functions and much more.
  • Taporware http://www.tapor.ca/ (wide range of specialist text analysis tools)

Other tools/sets of different tools

Word Class taggers

Word class taggers - a tool that will analyse the words in your text and mark this part of speech.

These are two taggers available for free online:

The CCG POS tagger results look like this, with a key below the extract:

Text used:

Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849:  The Tell-Tale Heart (Penguin Classics)
Cambridge 2011
ProQuest Information and Learning
Penguin Classics