This paper presents an attempt to explore the analytical potential of five corpus-based techniques: concordances, frequency lists, keyword lists, collocate lists, and dispersion plots. The basic question addressed is related to the contribution that these techniques make to gain more objective and insightful knowledge of the way literary meanings are encoded and of the way the literary language is organized. Three sizable English novels (Joyc’s Ulysses, Woolf’s The Waves, and Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying) are laid to corpus linguistic analysis. It is only by virtue of corpus-based techniques that huge amounts of literary data are analyzable. Otherwise, the data will keep on to be not more than several lines of poetry or short excerpts of narrative. The corpus-based techniques presented throughout this paper contribute more or less to a sort of rigorous interpretation of literary texts far from the intuitive approaches usually utilized in traditional stylistics.
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