[Corpora-List] Comparing n-grams / authorship

Mark Davies Mark_Davies at byu.edu
Tue Apr 17 21:47:49 CEST 2012

I am sending the following question on behalf of a colleague at BYU. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have; I'll forward them to the researcher who is working on this problem.

Mark Davies, BYU


I am working with a 250,000 word text. Within this text there are two chapters, A and B (1,200 and 2,400 words respectively). The authorship of these two chapters is unknown, but we have reason to believe to that the author(s) of A and B have a relationship that is different from the majority of the rest of the book. There are two 4-grams, three 6-grams, one 7-gram, one 8-gram, and one 9-gram shared in common in chapters A and B that appear nowhere else in the book. Intuitively it seems like there is a unique relationship between chapters A and B.

The question is:

Is there a statistical method of measuring whether the types of n-grams above establish a reasonable probability that the two texts are linked.

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