For this Lab I selected all of the available State of the Union speeches from the Barack Obama presidency. After searching for collocates centralized around the word “future”. I then recorded frequencies and stat column values for the generated bigram.
Three other words I recorded frequencies and stat column values for were three other notable collocates:
Frequency: (Left 8, Right 8)
Frequency:(Left 8, Right 1)
Statistical value: 8.85603
Frequency:(Left 19, Right 14)
Statistical Value: 4.00674
After doing this I then explored the bigrams that surrounded the word Future, and noted the occurrences of both the left and right sides, and recorded their frequencies.
Future Generations (8)
Future is (8)
Future, we (2)
The Future (22)
Our Future (11)
for Future (5)
For the next segment of our Lab, I looked up additional clusters surrounding the word future and selected “Future Generations” from the left side and “The Future” from the right side and took note of the concordance that appeared in the following text (passages included):
“And since the most important investment many families make is their home, send me legislation that protects taxpayers from footing the bill for a housing crisis ever again, and keeps the dream of homeownership alive for future generations of Americans.” (Obama, 2014)
“Now, I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations,”(Obama, 2009)
I then utilized the Brown Corpus that had a eye opening word frequency list, and took notice of how many times certain words appeared in the individual corpus.
This portion of the lab, highlights the expectations we harbor when looking at various text. The Brown corpus was utilized as a great source of comparison, because it functioned as a useful source of information when considering Antconc and what advantages it can give readers like ourselves when approaching various literary sources. The vocabulary from presidential speeches are different from traditional English word choices.
Overall, the Antconc computer program is a remarkable tool to achieve concordance in our literary research. While using the application, I often thought to myself that this computer assisted form of approaching text is very helpful in terms of finding connections with what words are used or associated with each other for their purpose within the text. Not to mention, the fact that it quickly can find us information like how many times a word is used is remarkable. This lab, and others that we have done thus far in the course has given me great perspective on how the “computer age” has accelerated and revolutionized the way we can analyze literature. Keywords, word frequencies, patterns in text, all considered. The access we now have as literary specialist to quickly analyze in more complex ways is very profound in comparison to the time it would have taken just 30 years ago.
This lab also made me think back to the Ted Underwood reading, and how he talked about the benefits of quantitative methods. Overall, i think this program, all be it complex, is useful for advancing the way we analyze or categorize literary texts. Especially from a larger archive.