Topical Discourse Structures: Using topic modeling in discourse analysis approaches

Fabian Brinkmann


With the amount textual data available to researchers rapidly increasing, the Humanities and Social Sciences stand before new challenges in dealing with these large quantities of texts. For several decades Digital Humanities have offered a multitude of tools for computer-assisted or –driven research. This article will explore how distant reading approaches in general and topic modeling in particular can be utilized in discourse analysis. It will present theories and methods that work well together and can be applied to different research projects. In this context, the article will present a combination of Structural Topic Modeling, developed by Roberts, Stewart and Tingley and the Critical Discourse Analysis approach by Siegfried Jäger.


Distant Reading; Textual Statistics; Topic Modeling; Discourse; Critical Discourse Analysis

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