Semantic density mapping: a discussion of meaning in William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience

Koristashevskaya, Elina (2014) Semantic density mapping: a discussion of meaning in William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2014KoristashevskayaMRes.pdf] PDF
Download (2MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This project attempts to bring together the tremendous amount of data made available through the publication of the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (eds. Kay, Roberts, Samuels and Wotherspoon 2009), and the recent developments in digital humanities of ‘mapping’ or ‘visually displaying’ literary corpus data. Utilising the Access HT-OED database and ‘Gephi’ digital software, the first section of this thesis is devoted to establishing the methodology behind this approach. Crucial to achieving this was the concept of ‘Semantic Density’, a property of a literary text determined by the analysis of lexemes in the text, following the semantic taxonomy of the HT-OED. This will be illustrated with a proof-of-concept analysis and visualisations based on the work of one poet from the Romantic period, William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience (1789/1794). In the later sections, these ‘maps’ will be used alongside a more traditional critical reading of the texts, with the intention of providing a robust framework for the application of digital visualisations in literary studies. The primary goal of this project, therefore, is to present a tool to inform critical analysis which blends together modern digital humanities, and traditional literary studies.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Historical Thesaurus of the OED, Corpus Analysis, Computational Stylistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor Jeremy and Alexander, Dr. Marc
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Miss Elina Koristashevskaya
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5240
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2014 11:54
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2014 11:54

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year