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Exploring the Role of Gender in 19th Century Fiction Through the Lens of Word Embeddings


Siobhán Grayson, Maria Mulvany, Karen Wade, Gerardine Meaney, Derek Greene

Publication Type: 
Refereed Conference Meeting Proceeding
Within the last decade, substantial advances have been made in the eld of computational linguistics, due in part to the evolution of word embedding algorithms inspired by neural network models. These algorithms attempt to derive a set of vectors which represent the vocab- ulary of a textual corpus in a new embedded space. This new represen- tation can then be used to measure the underlying similarity between words. In this paper, we explore the role an author's gender may play in the selection of words that they choose to construct their narratives. Using a curated corpus of forty-eight 19th century novels, we generate, visualise, and investigate word embedding representations using a list of gender-encoded words. This allows us to explore the di erent ways in which male and female authors of this corpus use terms relating to contemporary understandings of gender and gender roles.
Conference Name: 
Conference on Language, Data and Knowledge (LDK'2017)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Date: 
Conference Location: 
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
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