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Uncertain Attribution: Potentials and Limitations of a Mixed Methods Approach for Analysing Attribution Phenomena in Fictional and Factual Texts

"Uncertain Attribution" is an interdisciplinary project funded by the Ministry of Science and Culture Lower Saxony in the programme "Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften – digital: Forschungschancen, Methodenentwicklung und Reflexionspotenziale". Like its sister project "Reflective Passages" it combines expertise in Literary Studies, Linguistics and Computational Linguistics/Digital Humanities.

Principle Investigators

  • Dr. Benjamin Gittel (Seminar of German Philology)
  • Prof. Dr. Anke Holler (Seminar of German Philology & Institute of Digital Humanities)
  • Prof. Dr. Caroline Sporleder (Institute of Computer Science & Institute of Digital Humanities) (Speaker)

New:  We are looking to fill 5 PhD positions in this project and its sister project "Reflective Passages".

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Project description

In order to understand a text it is not sufficient that a reader can extract the information contained in it, he or she also has to identify to whom a piece of information is attributed. This can generally be different types of entities: the author, the narrator or discourse entities introduced in the text. While there are linguistic devices for signalling attribution, these are not always free of ambiguity. (Sometimes intentionally so.) The project aims at (automatically) identifying and analysing three types of attribution phenomena which are particularly relevant for literary texts: (i) free indirect discourse, (ii) reflective passages and (iii) overt-narrator passages. The general applicability of the developed methods will be tested on factual texts from the journalism domain.