”I read your Facebook post and (I think) I know who you are”, part 2: A mini-experiment on author psychology assessment

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In part 1 on this blog, “A mini-history of author analysis”, I pointed out that attempting to draw conclusions about the author of a text based on traits of the text alone has a long tradition in forensics (identifying perpetrators or revealing forgeries), literary studies (authorship identification) and psychology (from psychoanalysis to modern customer/consumer behavior studies). In its modern, machine learning version, psychological author profiling is often based on the ”Big Five” model (see figure 1) going back to McCrae & Costa 1989.

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But how do human readers decode and interpret concrete features of text as to its authors personality?

In order to find preliminary answers to this question, I performed a mini-experiment in my lesson on “Communicative …

”I read your Facebook post and (I think) I know who you are”, part 1: A mini-history of author analysis

Billede1

Attempting to draw conclusions about the author of a text based on traits of the text alone has a long tradition. It has been a topic of interest in forensics (identifying perpetrators or revealing forgeries), literary studies (authorship identification) and psychology (from psychoanalysis to modern customer/consumer behavior studies). In 15th Century Italy, Lorenzo Valla proved the forgery of the Donation of Constantine based on anachronistic word choice (8th, and not 4th, century A.D.) and poor grammar. Contending the authorship of certain texts previously attributed to Shakespeare goes back to the end of the 17th Century and builds on the philological methods stemming from biblical and classic studies, developed in the Renaissance period, analyzing language style (word choice and grammar). In …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – a former student at the Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 4

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Lingoblog is celebrating the summer with a biography about the world-famous linguist Karl Verner in four parts. In case you missed the first three parts, follow the links here, here and here. Look forward to many more interesting posts after the summer break.

Professor in Copenhagen

When Karl Verner’s teacher, Professor Smith, died in 1881, Verner decided despite great hestitation to apply for a position at Copenhagen University as an associate professor in Slavic studies. From April 1888 he was appointed extraordinary professor. The same year he was – reluctantly – made part of The Royal Danish Society of Sciences, even though he had despised fancy company throughout his life. He preferred the company of the common people …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – a former student from Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 3

karlverner

Lingoblog is celebrating the summer with a biography of the world-famous linguist Karl Verner in four parts. In case you missed the first two parts, you can follow this link and this link. Don’t forget to read the last part of the series next week.

Back to Aarhus – the location of the great discovery

After finishing his studies, Karl Verner had to return to his hometown Aarhus. There were no financial possibilities for him to stay in Copenhagen. In the Aarhusian carpenter home, Karl Verner had to manage with his family’s help. He earned a bit with bookkeeping and administration for the family store. But most of all, he spent his time on his own studies. In a …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – an former student of Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 2

karlverner

Lingoblog is celebrating the summer with a biography of the world-famous linguist Karl Verner in four parts. In case you missed the first part of the series, you can follow this link. Read along next week where you can read more about Verner’s professional life.

Shortly after making his discovery, Verner shared it with Vilhelm Thomsen (1842-1927) who was an editor for a Danish scientific journal. A linguist himself, Thomsen later became an internationally highly regarded specialist within the field of Indo-European linguistics. He thought the discovery to be true and encouraged Verner to send a manuscript to a German journal so that the groundbreaking discovery could be distributed to a larger audience. Because of this, Karl Verner had …

A language without a nation

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”Now that I am dating an Italian, I will have to start learning Italian”… “I am going to Portugal during my summer vacation, can I borrow your dictionary?” … In Europe we are used to countries having each their language – Denmark has Danish, Sweden has Swedish, Germany has German and so on. But this is a truth with modifications. First of all, countries can contain more than one language, either minority languages such as German in Southern Jutland and Danish in the Flensburg area, or like entire language areas such as Greenlandic and Faroese in Denmark or Sorbian in Germany. Not to mention countries like India or China, which each contain hundreds of languages. Second, several countries can “share” …

Karl Verner, world-famous linguist – a former student from Aarhus Cathedral School. Part 1

karlverner

Few people who walk into the buildings of Aarhus Cathedral School, the red and the gray, are aware that someone who once spent many hours studying here went on to being world famous. And even better that the basis of this fame was founded at the Cathedral School, in an area of study unknown to most people.

Few of the students rushing along Vestergade in Aarhus on their way to school even pay attention to the memorial plaque on the gray house number 5: “The linguist Karl Verner 7th of March 1846 – 5th of November 1896 lived here from 1851 to 1875”. Today there is a shoe store and a fur store on the ground floor, but …