Exploring Word Sense and Tense in a Simple Text


This recipe takes a text and explores the tenses and senses of word usage by combining the use of a sense finding service, the Concordance and Collocation Tools.

  1. Take an electronic text from a source such as Project Gutenberg or one which you may already have. 
  2. Generate a word list (sorted by frequency) using the Voyant Corpus Term Frequencies 


  3. Compile a list of words that you are particularly interested in;
  4. Explore these keywords using Voyant Document KWICs to find their context;
  5. Use a sense finding service such as WordNet to obtain a list of known senses of particular words;
  6. Explore how the sense of particular words is related to key words by using Voyant Links;
  • Finding a Text

Possible sources for electronic texts are listed on the Electronic Texts Panel of TAPoR. When preparing text for analysis, you should be aware that academic infrastructure included in the text may obstruct reading the text for its original construction. It may be useful to remove notes and other materials added by subsequent authors from the original work. You can use tools such TAPoR Extract Text to remove added material.

  • Using a Word List

The word list can provide a first clue about the nature of the text. Questions which can be asked of the word list may include:

  1. What are the basic preoccupations of this text?
  2. What is unusual in the text?