Digital Technologies Expo
Digital philological methods have recently led to major advances in our understanding of the creation, evolution and transmission of premodern Chinese texts. This presentation will provide overviews and hands-on demonstrations of two online, freely-accessibly digital toolkits for pattern detection in premodern Chinese corpora. The first is Philologic4 (originally developed at the University of Chicago by the ARTFL group and designed to detect patterns of “text reuse” in 18th-century French corpora), reconfigured to help identify and examine patterns of semantic and syntactic parallelism within the twenty-four standard Chinese histories 二十四史. The second is the Digital Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese 古漢語詞源字典, which harnesses a range of digital lexica in order to detect and analyze phonetic patterns in and the “phonorhetoric” (or “phonostylistics”) of premodern Chinese literary works, both poetry and prose. The final part of this session will discuss the computational methods we are using to help determine the relative significance of the patterns detected by these methods, and how the use of techniques like machine learning can assist us in our evaluations.