Truth and method in Indology, III

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Thu Jun 4 16:55:39 UTC 1998

At 16:31 04.06.98 +0100, you wrote:
>On Tue, 2 Jun 1998, Lars Martin Fosse <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO> wrote:
>>I have a comment concerning the use of statistics in Indology. . . .
>>1. . . .
>        you work for two years analysing data
>        you spend 30 sekonds running them through the computer
>        you spend the next two years evaluating the results.
>>Not a very economical method when Indological research is concerned,
>considering the vastness of the literature.
>Perhaps you are aware of the TITUS-project (thesaurus of indo-european
>literatures): you type in a (Vedic/Sanskrit) text and get access to the texts
>typed in by others. More info via:

Yes, I am aware of the Titus-project, which is an important step in the
right direction. But a task of a more difficult nature is the tagging and
preparation of texts for various kinds of computerized study, including
statistical studies. For this to be done efficiently, we need some kind of
standard, and to produce a large amount of prepared text that can be used
for such purposes. For one thing, we need more smaller studies that can help
us decide what it is worth while tagging in a text (both grammatical and
content-related information). A good method will only chrystallize after a
few years of experiment and discussion.

In the statistical field, we need more studies dealing with authorship
problems, preferably the same texts analysed with different statistical
methods and according to different criteria (compare, for instance, the
numerous studies of the letters of St. Paul, and the studies of the
Federalist papers, which are important for methodical reasons).

I think that a new path will open up when we have a large corpus of texts
tagged for content and grammar in combination with standardized statistical

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo

Tel: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax: +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at
Mobile phone: 90 91 91 45

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