• A style for every age: A stylometric inquiry into crosswriters for children, adolescents and adults

    Lindsey Geybels (see profile) , Wouter Haverals, Vanessa Joosen
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    In the field of children’s literature studies, much attention has been devoted to investigating differences between children’s and adult literature. Works of crosswriters, authors who write for both readerships in different works, are an excellent source for this research. This article applies stylometry, the computational method of analysing style, to the oeuvres of 10 Dutch and English crosswriters to trace potential differences in their individual style and similarities between the authors. The analyses also take into account the age of the intended reader (as listed in the paratext) and the publication date, to study the influence these aspects have on writing style. Four case studies zoom in on a specific author or age category of the intended readership to study general tendencies as well as outliers. The results from the stylometric analyses are complemented with peritextual information about the author’s view on style and writing for readerships of different ages. The main conclusion drawn from the case studies is that the style of the texts usually correlates more strongly with the age of the intended reader than with the time period in which it was written. Young adult literature clusters more closely with adult literature. The style associated with a younger readership is distinct in the oeuvres of most authors studied in this article and even transcends the differences between authors.
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    4 months ago
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