Ninety-Four Most Frequent Characters and Sixteen Lexical Features of Three Ancient Chinese Vernacular Novels

Published: 5 December 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/thfkcryrj9.1


This dataset provides a normalized frequency of ninety-four Most Frequent Characters (MFCs) and normalized values of sixteen lexical features of each chapter of three ancient Chinese vernacular novels, Marriage Bonds to Awaken the World (Xing Shi Yin Yuan Zhuan 醒世姻緣傳; MBAW), Pu Songling’s Popular Songs from Leisure Studio (Liao Zhai Li Qu Ji 聊齋俚曲集; PSLS), and Ding Yaokang’s Sequel to the Plum in Golden Vase (Xu Jin Ping Mei 續金瓶梅; SPGV). MBAW is an important work in the developing process of Chinese long vernacular novels. However, a significant question of MBAW, the authorship of this novel, remains shrouded in mystery. There are two dominant conjectures about the author of MBAW, one is Pu Songling 蒲松齡 (1640-1715) and the other is Ding Yaokang 丁耀亢 (1599-1669). The data can be used to evaluate if the authorship of MBAW can be attributed to either Pu Songling or Ding Yaokang through a comparative examination of the linguistic stylings of MBAW and two other novels from the same genre, PSLS and SPGV, which have been confirmed as the works of Pu Songling and Ding Yaokang, respectively. The 94 MFCs of the two novels are as follows: 了, 的, 不, 一, 是, 人, 他, 說, 來, 子, 你, 我, 個, 這, 那, 有, 道, 著, 也, 去, 家, 上, 裡, 大, 在, 就, 到, 得, 又, 兩, 日, 麼, 下, 只, 好, 見, 要, 頭, 還, 叫, 出, 兒, 沒, 把, 看, 老, 二, 小, 姐, 十, 娘, 生, 三, 門, 都, 回, 如, 打, 知, 心, 做, 才, 相, 起, 自, 過, 可, 合, 天, 時, 事, 與, 官, 甚, 銀, 公, 中, 夫, 吃, 前, 無, 後, 將, 怎, 們, 年, 外, 些, 問, 走, 聽, 待, 多, and 進. Definitions of the 16 lexical features are provided in the second worksheet of the Excel file named “Lexical features”.



Linguistic Stylistics, Lexical Processing, Stylistics, Chinese Literature