Finding a middle ground between 'determinism' and 'aesthetic indeterminacy': a model for text analysis tools

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137 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is intended to begin a discussion about the need for a future text analysis software tool to model a number of aspects of text analysis as it is practiced by critics who are not computing humanists, and that have been barely considered by most developers. It begins by putting this analysis in the context of Douglas Englebart's famous model of computer-human interaction expressed originally by his Augment system. It continues by examining a number of examples of how technology (ranging from 3 X 5 cards to topic maps) is currently used to support critical analyses, and points out that an important aspect of the critical process, which is recognized at least in part by the 3 X 5 card model but not by mainstream humanities computing methods, is the sense of critical analysis as a process rather than merely the presentation of a finished product. The paper finishes by examining some of the underlying concepts present in text-analysis tools used within the social sciences that attempt to deal with this temporal aspect of analysis, and proposes a need to examine the real practices of critics in the light of these issues. (24 References).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185 - 207
Number of pages23
JournalLiterary and Linguistic Computing: the journal of digital scholarship in the humanities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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