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describes a novel method of network text analysis, one that involves a new
approach to 1) the selection of words from a
text, 2) the aggregation of those words into higher-order concepts, 3)
the kind of the relationship that establishes statements from pairs of concepts
and 4) the extraction of meaning from the text network formed by these statements.
After describing the method, I apply it to a sample of the seven most recent
winners of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay―Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Milk, The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech, Midnight in Paris, and Django Unchained. Consistent with
prior research, I demonstrate that structure encodes meaning. Specifically, it
is shown that statements associated with a text network’s least constrained
nodes are consistent with themes in the films’ synopses found on Wikipedia, the
International Movie Database, and Rotten Tomatoes.
Several works on film theory and screenwriting practice take up the question of repetition within narrative. However, few if any, have articulated theories about the relationship between the repetition of the words that comprise the screenplay itself and repetition of the themes that lend coherence to the narrative. In this study we address this gap in the screenwriting and film literature. Specifically, we analyze repetition of words and themes in the screenplay of Sunshine Cleaning, a critically-acclaimed independent film. Based on our survey of the literature, we expect and we find several varieties of repetition among words associated with the major themes in Sunshine Cleaning. This repetition includes but is not limited to polyptoton (words formed by inflections, declensions, and conjugations of a common stem), homonymy, paregmenon (words sharing a common derivation), and compounding (words formed by combining two or more words). We further expect and find that the repetition of words linked to themes is extensive and found in the large majority of the scenes of the screenplay. Finally, we expect and find that words associated with the themes are repeated far more frequently than in a random sample of screenplays contained within the Corpus of Contemporary American English. We conclude the paper with a discussion of our study’s implications for the art and craft of screenwriting.
The repetition and development of unifying themes, ideas, and images within narratives are long-standing concerns in the literature on screenwriting. Four points of consensus concerning themes are evident: themes are 1) very few 2) are different from—but related to—the plotline 3) are oft-repeated and 4) are implicitly, rather than explicitly, stated. Several areas within the field of linguistics are relevant to these topics. Foremost among them is morphology, specifically word-formation—the rules by which new words are built upon the bases of other words, roots, or stems. This article considers the relationship of several kinds of word formation to thematic repetition in Mark Boal’s The Hurt Locker, the 2010 Academy-Award winner for best original screenplay. The morphological analysis reveals a pattern of thematic repetition extending to every scene of the screenplay and that encompasses the story’s underlying and unifying themes.
This paper examines the impact of social capital on advertising performance in an online social network. Specifically, we show that a widely-employed measure of social capital—network constraint—explains variation in the number of click-throughs received by 5986 banner advertisements appearing on 25 Twitter-related websites. As predicted, banner advertisements receive significantly more clicks when placed on websites that bridge structural holes, i.e. bridge otherwise disconnected segments of the network.