Quantitative Text Analysis

Timothy Shortell, Brooklyn College

Quantitative text analysis is an idea with deep roots. Despite this, the majority of tools on the market are for qualitative text analysis. It is only recently that quantitative text analysis has begun to be developed. Contrary to the traditional qualitative text analysis, which aids the researcher in the researcher in identifying key themes by tagging them and compiling categories of code, quantitative analysis yields a unique insight into the structure of meaning in discourse and focuses on complex semiotic content. The first phase of this project will study a series of computerized coding algorithms to determine the relevant dimensions of variation and the optimal values for three kinds of complex semiotic content rhetoric, value structure and ideology. In the second phase a prototype user interface will be developed for the suite of coding algorithms. The eventual outcome of this project will yield a software tool for content coding at the semiotic level, rather than the lexical or syntactic levels, that is, oriented to quantitative analysis.

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