File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 717

From: Humanist Discussion Group <>
Date: Tue,  5 May 2009 05:07:15 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: [Humanist]  22.733 statistics for humanists

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 733.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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  [1]   From:    Jockers Matthew <>                  (140)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist]  22.731 statistics for humanists

  [2]   From:    "Goldfield, Joel" <>        (132)
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 22.728 controlled vocabularies? statistics

  [3]   From:    Alan Corre <>                                (29)
        Subject: Statistics for Humanists (22.728)

        Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 06:19:51 -0700
        From: Jockers Matthew <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist]  22.731 statistics for humanists
        In-Reply-To: <>

I'd add one more text to Nathaniel's fine list. . .

Anyone wishing to learn statistics for use in a language/linguistics  
context, who also wants to learn R (the fantastic, but not for the  
uninitiated, open-source stats application, see  
will be deeply grateful for R.H. Baayen's book _Analyzing Linguistic  
Data: A practical introduction to Statistics _. I went through a  
series of R books before I found this one, and it's top-notch: the  
only book I know that puts R and statistics into a context (language/ 
linguistics) that I can really sink my teeth into: those drug trial  
examples that are so frequently used in other stats books were driving  
me crazy.

I bought ($35.00) a hard copy from Amazon,

But Baayen's draft MS is available as a PDF on his web site:


Matthew Jockers
Stanford University

        Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 10:26:00 -0400
        From: "Goldfield, Joel" <>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 22.728 controlled vocabularies? statistics forhumanists?
        In-Reply-To: <>

In response to Jim Kelly's query:  In France, where I did my pre-doctoral and doctoral work in French literature and civilization, we used two works by Charles Muller: Principes et méthodes de statistique lexicale (Hachette, 1977) and Initiation aux méthodes de la statistique linguistique (Hachette, 1973).  The best part was actually meeting Muller, a charming fellow, at the ALLC-ACH conference in 1985.

Joel Goldfield
Fairfield University

        Date: Mon, 04 May 2009 12:12:37 -0500
        From: Alan Corre <>
        Subject: Statistics for Humanists (22.728)
        In-Reply-To: <>

This is in response to the question about statistics for Humanists 
raised by Professors Brooks and Kelly (22.728). Please consult the 
excellent book by Anthony Kenny entitled "The Computation of Style" 
(Oxford, 1982), unfortunately now out of print. I based on Kenny's 
guidelines on statistics my 1990 book "Icon Programming for Humanists" 
published in 1990 by Prentice-Hall and also out of print. This book 
offers instruction in the Icon programming language, which has unique 
features singularly well-suited to string manipulation, and the book 
gives numerous examples of the computerization of the procedures 
suggested by Kenny. A couple of years ago Clint Jeffery, professor of 
computer science at the University of Idaho, proposed to me to update my 
book, since he feels there is such a lack of books dealing with text 
processing, and we have been working hard on the second edition. So much 
has changed in the interim! It should be available later this year in a 
free online edition, unlike the first edition which was on old-fashioned 
paper. It includes entirely new chapters on Unicode and the TEI (Text 
Encoding Initiative.)

I would also recommend Jonathan Gottschall's rather controversial book 
"Literature, Science, and a New Humanities (Cognitive Studies in 
Literature and Performance)". Jonathan believes that literary criticism 
has reached a dead end, and the critics mostly just talk to themselves. 
Criticism has to be "scientized" in his view, and he has tried out modes 
of so doing. I think he is brave (the thesis is anathema to some 
professors of English) and probably right. His approach is more 
sociological, using scientific surveys. See my brief review of his book 
on the website. Search "books" on his name.

Alan D. Corré
Emeritus Professor of Hebrew Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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