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From Words to Numbers
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  • Page extent: 500 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.73 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521541459 | ISBN-10: 052154145X)

This book illustrates a set of tools - story grammars, relational data models, and network models - that can be profitably used for the collection, organization, and analysis of narrative data in socio-historical research. A story grammar, or Subject-Action-Object and their modifiers, is the linguistic tool the author uses to structure narrative for the purpose of collecting event data. Relational database models make such complex data collection schemes practically feasible in a computer environment. Finally, network models are a statistical tool best suited to analyze this type of data. Driven by the metaphors of the journal (from … to) and the alchemy (words into numbers), the book leads the reader throughout a number of paths, from substantive to methodological issues, across time and disciplines: sociology, linguistics, literary criticism, history, statistics, computer science, philosophy, cognitive psychology, political science.

• A book that pursues methodological rigor while never concealing the shortcuts taken in that pursuit • A truly interdisciplinary book that traverses several disciplines (sociology, political science, linguistics, and history, but also, computer science, statistics, philosophy, literary criticism, etc.) • A methodological book that delivers much more than methodology: from epistemology to the history of disciplines


Part I. From Words to Numbers: A Journey: Prologue; 1. 'In the beginning, there was the word'; 2. Ars memoriae; 3: everything is number; Part II. Looking Back: What's in the Numbers?: 4. The word and the world; 5. 'A worlde of wordes'; 6. Journeys end.

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