A Two-Man Show: Stylometric Analysis of Personal Names in Rudolf Slánský’s Staged Trial Newspaper Reports


  • Jaroslav David University of Ostrava, Czechia
  • Jana Davidová Glogarová University of Ostrava, Czechia
  • Michal Místecký University of Ostrava, Czechia




Rudolf Slánský’s staged trial, personal names, keyword analysis, collocation analysis, thematization of personal names, opinion journalism, Rudé právo newspaper


The paper is aimed at personal names (anthroponyms) in newspaper reports on Rudolf Slánský’s staged trial, which was held against the leaders of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia – mostly of the Jewish origin – who were “uncovered” as political enemies; the trial took place in an anti-Semitic atmosphere. The examined texts were published in the period of November 21−28,
1952, in Rudé právo, the main newspaper of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Proper names, mostly personal names, are analysed from several perspectives. The quantitative analysis is focused on the keywords of the studied texts and typical collocations of the names. The qualitative analysis, developing the quantitatively researched data, is aimed at the image of enemy or traitor and its presentation via thematization of personal names. The ways of language presentation of the Jewish origin of the accused are in the scope of the contribution as well. Within the scope of collocation analysis, the newspaper texts on the trial were contrasted with the ones published by Rudé právo on the occasion of Rudolf Slánskýʼs 50th birthday (July 31, 1951).