A Macro-Etymological Analysis of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
James Joyce, a polyglot and a student of classical languages, was keenly aware of the etymologies of the words he used. This study is a computational analysis of the word histories of his novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, in which its ancestral languages are quantified and grouped by language family. These etymological families are shown to correspond to Joyce’s styles, moods, and political implications. Fine-grained analyses of chapters and sections are conducted, and the results are compared with critical theories of the novel’s narrative structure. As the pilot study employing the Macro-Etymological Analyzer, this paper demonstrates the usefulness of the tool for digital literary studies.