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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2021

Stylometry and the Faded Fingerprints of Saga Authors

From the book In Search of the Culprit

  • Sigurður Ingibergur Björnsson , Steingrímur Páll Kárason and Jón Karl Helgason


Over the past two decades, Burrows’ Delta and its descendants have been prominent methods of authorship attribution. In this chapter, we consider recent attempts to apply variations of this method to the study of Old Norse sagas, and discuss the broader inferences of these findings. Earlier stylometric measures suggest, for instance, that Egils saga, Ólafs saga helga, and Ólafs saga Tryggvasonar were composed by the same author, and that Íslendinga saga and Þórðar saga kakala were composed by the same author. A Rolling Delta analysis, in which the works under observation are divided into equal-sized segments and then measured against each other, implies a more intricate relationship between these and other Old Norse sagas.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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