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Literary statistics

Did one person write the whole of Shakespeare? Who wrote the books of the Bible? Three researchers at the University of Adelaide have come up with a statistical approach which could help to resolve these puzzles. Matthew Berryman, Andrew Allison and Derek Abbot have published some of their findings on New Testament authorship.

Their analysis is based upon inter-word spacing, defined as the word count between a word and the next occurrence of the same word in a text. So in the previous sentence, for example, the count between the first appearance of “word” and the second…

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