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Linguistic differences between fantasy and science fiction: A Coh-Metrix analysis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the potential linguistic differences between the genres fantasy and science fiction by using the computation tool Coh-Metrix to analyse texts by 15 different authors, out of whom five authors write texts in both genres. The data was analysed by conducting ANOVA, correlations, t-tests and general scrutinising of the data. The results showed a lot of weak correlations and significant differences, but a lack of patterns, when comparing the texts and texts groups to each other, both when looking at all indices and the different measures of Coh-Metrix. However, there were some discernible patterns. In general, the authors who write both fantasy and science fiction seem to conform more to the fantasy genre than the science fiction genre overall (based on a set of control texts), but for four out of the eleven measures of Coh-Metrix (descriptive, referential cohesion, LSA and lexical diversity), the authors writing texts in both genres seemed to conform more to science fiction than fantasy. The text easability principle component scores variable seemed to differentiate the genres as well. Patterns among the connectives variable, as well as the syntactic structure similarity index, agentless passive voice forms index and second language readability index implicated potential differences between the genres but were not supported by significant differences. The potential differences between the genres are all suggested for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
Coh-Metrix, fantasy, science fiction, genres, genre theory, text easability, referential cohesion, latent semantic analysis, lexical diversity, connectives, syntactic complexity, syntactic pattern density, readability
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123619OAI: diva2:875142
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2015-11-30 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Westerlund, Ida
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Department of English
General Language Studies and Linguistics

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