We know that there are plenty of sound words in Chapter 5. How much do they contribute to the uncommon words of 1937?
That correspondence looks quite strong – and let me give you more grist for the mill. Lexos draws each individual graph at a scale that visually fills up the space for us to see the patterns clearly, it recalculates what the scale should be for every new graph. As I reminded us in the last post, in looking at the whole book, Lexos draws the purple sound graph at about 33% of the red uncommon graph: where the two lines match, for every 100 red uncommon words, 33 of them are purple sound words.
When we look only at Chapter 5, Lexos draws the purple sound graph at 56%: where the two lines match, for every 100 red uncommon words, 56 of them are purple sound words. The strength of the sound words’ contribution to our red graph is almost doubled.
Well, then. Chapter 5 is full to the brim with sound words! It’s certainly not unexpected, after all it’s dark in those caverns. Each sound is magnified, and it’s the strongest sense Bilbo has working for him to perceive his situation. Here’s a sample of how the sound words and the other uncommon words work together in a paragraph which is identical in both editions:
[05.007] ‘Go back? ‘ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!’ So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.
We can also notice that the “scrumptiously crunchable” peak is not particularly driven by sound words. That may or may not be of particular interest, but it does reassure us that the strength of the sound graph elsewhere is not an error, as we can see that it’s not omnipresent.
After the peak at the climax of the riddle game, we observe that the sound words recede to about a third of that peak.
Footnote: I have debated erasing those y-axis scales on the left hand side completely, yet I feel an obligation to make my Lexos graphs comparable to those produced by other scholars. The scale on the sound words, which I described above as “56%” is from 0.0 to 0.09. If you need to articulate those number sentences more clearly, “for every hundred words, 16 are uncommon, of which 9 are sound words”. I don’t have the skills to read the OpenSource code which the Lexos programmers wrote, but I used to be a statistician in the days of punch cards and carrier pigeons. If you ask me questions about the numbers, I can probably ask Tech Support to read the code and tell me the details so I can make a coherent explanation.