DH Project : Messy Data with Stylistic Impact?

chronicles-2001-just-1-chronicles

Rolling Delta comparing 2 Chronicles with the whole of 1 Chronicles, 1 Chronicles 1-9 (genealogies), and 1 Chronicles 10-29 (narrative).

dh_project_ca_100_mfws_culled_100__classic-delta__001

Dendrogram showing how the six books I have been analysing cluster according to most frequent words used. 

I have finally decided on a question for my project on 1 Chronicles. I’m still not sure how I felt about beginning my research without a question to shape it but that is a discussion for another day.

I have decided to look at whether the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles, the genealogical lists, should be considered messy data. The reason for this is that my rolling deltas and dendrograms have suggested different interpretations. As you can see from the dendrogram, removing the genealogies from the narrative in 1 Chronicles makes little difference to the most frequent word count. In fact, going on the dendrogram alone, you could challenge the traditional assumption that the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles was the same person.

However, the rolling delta suggests that the genealogies do have an impact on the stylistic similarities of 1 Chronicles with 2 Chronicles. Where the genealogies are removed, the narrative’s similarity to 2 Chronicles increases to the extent that there are sections where the style is almost identical.

It is the difference between these two methods that has led me to question whether these lists do have a relevant impact on 1 Chronicles’ style. And if it does have an impact, does this make it messy data?

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