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"A Corpus-Based Analysis of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest"
A Corpus-Based Analysis of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest
Anthony Pacella
1. Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Research Motivation

A. The pleasure of reading Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is mainly due to the genius organization of the language, such as the magic use of pun, paradox, and original word patterns.

B. Stylistic analysis is an effective way to dig out the aesthetic value of a literary work, especially that Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is the full embodiment of his idea of aestheticism. With the support of quantative data, the research becomes more objective.

C. The rapid development of computer science and its application to language research makes it convenient to do text analysis. The output of the computer analysis can show directly the significant information related to the text studied.

1.2 Research Questions

A. The relationship between high frequency words/ key words and the theme, plot, characterization, conflict of the comedy The Importance of Being Earnest

B. The conversational pattern between characters, namely the comparison of conversational patterns of each couple Jack and Gwendolen, Algernon and Cecily, Prism and Chausible .

C. The relationship between author’s diction and rhetoric choices and its aesthetic implication.

1.3 The arrangement of chapters

2. Literature Review

2.1 Theoretic Foundation

A. The critical model of stylistics:

Description à Explanation à Evaluation

Part of data are gained from computer, other will from subjective judgment.

B. Levels of analysis:

Semantics à Text

C. Application of corpus linguistics to literary criticism

D. Statistical stylistics application to attributions conformation

E. Corpus-based approach in language research

2.2 Previous studies on The Importance of Being Earnest and other corresponding studies

A. Reviews of literary criticism of The Importance of Being Earnest with various critical approaches

B. Concordancing analysis to other texts

C. Cases of literature computing related

3. Research Design

3.1 Procedure

Step1 Keywords retrieval by Wordsmith Tools software. Corpus using: the text of The Importance of Being Earnest and BNC/ Oscar Wilde’s Complete Works as reference corpora.

Step 2 Systematic description of the linguistic...

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