Neuroscientist Peter Garrard and his colleagues have analysed Iris Murdoch’s last novel, Jackson’s Dilemma, and say that it reveals the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. (Via MoorishGirl.)
The Guardian explains:
“Using concordance software, they analysed the types of words – nouns, verbs, descriptors and so on – in each novel, and their richness. Comparisons of the three novels showed that her vocabulary became richer in the early stages of her writing career, but showed signs of impoverishment in the final work.
The sentences themselves were well formed, but the words became more commonplace. An analysis of 30 sentences found on average fewer words per sentence, and fewer clauses per sentence, in the last novel.”
I dunno. Just finished reading two city supplements that both show distinct signs of impoverishment in the final work, use terribly commonplace words, and lack richness completely. Indian newspapers as Alzheimer’s victims? It’s always possible…