Methodological Principles and Practice
Edited By Michael Grenfell and Frédéric Lebaron
Structure and Vocabulary Flow in Chronological Corpora: Contributions of Correspondence Analysis and Labelled Hierarchy
The technique of chronological corpora constitutes a specific genre for textual analysis (Benzécri 1981; Lebart et al. 1998, chapter 7; Murtagh 2005). Through this technique we find the corpora formed by a series of texts coming from a unique source. Although their authors can differ, such as leading articles of the same newspaper over a long period of time, inaugural speeches by the successive Prime Ministers of one country or, more generally, texts produced by the same institution can be ordered chronologically.
When studying this kind of corpus, the main objectives are to uncover which time-related changes appear, but also capture the overall organization of the texts (Bourdieu 1996a: 258–60). In this chapter we want to show how combining correspondence analysis (CA) with labelled time-constrained hierarchy, offers a very rich tool. CA allows for visualizing the orientation of a narrative (Benzécri 1973; Lebart et al. 1998; Murtagh et al. 2005, 2011; Bourdieu, 1996a), that is, the shape of the changes through taking into account all the interdistances. The labelled chronological hierarchy can provide an account of the vocabulary flow along the dimension of time, through taking advantage of the local distances. We advocate that the results of both methods complement one another but have to be jointly read. In this chapter we have applied this methodology to the chronological corpus composed of the inaugural speeches delivered by successive Prime ← 273 | 274 → Ministers of Spain from 1979 to the present day....