The Needle-in-a-Haystack Method (NHM)

The Needle-in-a-Haystack Method (NHM) is being developed as a collaborative project between members of the Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University and the Institute of the Czech National Corpus at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Its aim is two-fold: to develop a quantitative method (software) for text analysis (KWords) and a set of Best Practice Guidelines for the software for the humanities students and scholars. We explore what and to what extent the application is capable of facilitating text analysis. The project studies the latter with a variety of texts from the Czech National Corpus including political speeches and literary texts. KWords now also allows analysis of texts in English.

Since the inception of the research collaboration the authors have developed the Multi-level Discourse Prominence Analysis (2018, 2019). Since 2019 they started developing two new methods that further depart from keyword analysis: keymorph analysis and the application of Market Basket Analysis to discourse analysis. The authors are currently preparing several articles on these two topics using data from the antisystem web portals.

Starting from 2020, the authors will be participants in the Threat-Defuser Project, a six-year 1.2-million-Norwegian crown research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) (P. I. Prof. Laura Janda, Universiry of Tromsø/Arctic University of Norway). (also cf. link to the grant)

NHM emerged in the fall of 2012. It links several disciplines: corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, Slavic linguistics, social sciences, and digital humanities. The most recent research applies Market Basket Analysis for  the first time in discourse analysis