A Macro-Etymological Analysis of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • Jonathan ReeveEmail author


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.


Color Word Germanic Register Unknown Word Latinate Word Germanic Origin 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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