Exploring Gothic Fiction: A Corpus-Based Analysis
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Gothic Fiction as a literary genre began in the late 1700s and remains popular today (Bottig 1996). While it has been analysed through qualitative analysis involving close textual readings and interpretation (Tinkler-Villani 1995), this dissertation aims to further explore the genre using the tools of corpus linguistics. A corpus of one million words from eleven 19th century Gothic texts will be compiled. The texts will be randomly selected to be representative of the genre within the century from 1800 to 1900. The research questions are: 1) How can Gothic Fiction be described through its language, using keyword analysis, word frequencies and concordance exploration? a) What are the key and most frequently used words? b) How do these words behave in terms of lexico-grammatical patterning to reveal insights about the genre of Gothic Fiction? 2) How does corpus analysis compare with traditional analysis? a) What categories are suggested as being important using keyword analysis? b) What themes have emerged through traditional analyses? c) How do the results from the two methodologies relate? By using a corpus linguistics approach, this dissertation will offer insights into the genre, and provide quantitative and qualitative evidence for support.