CLiC Dickens: novel uses of concordances for the integration of corpus stylistics and cognitive poetics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • University of Nottingham


This paper introduces the web application CLiC, which we developed as part of a research project bringing together insights from both cognitive poetics and corpus stylistics, with Dickens's novels as a case study. CLiC supports the analysis of discourse in narrative fiction with search options that make it possible to focus on stretches of text within and outside quotation marks. We argue that such search options open up novel ways of using concordances to link lexico-grammatical and textual patterns. We focus specifically on patterns for the creation of fictional characters. From a technical point of view, we explain the XML annotation that CLiC works with. Our discussion of textual examples focusses on phrases in fictional speech that illustrate significant differences between text within and outside quotation marks. In terms of theory, we argue that CLiC supports the identification of textual patterns that can provide insights into fictional minds and contribute to the exploration of readerly effects within the wider framework of mind-modelling.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-463
Number of pages31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • Dickens , fictional speech , suspensions , characterisation , mind-modelling