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Abstract

In his article, "How is a Genre Created? Five Combinatory Hypotheses," Johan F. Hoorn discusses that in genre theory, the creation of a genre is usually envisioned as a complex selection procedure in which several factors play an equivocal role. First, he advances that genre usually is investigated at the level of the phenomenon. For instance, questions may drawn on the effects of social status, education, or "intrinsic values" on forming a genre, on an author's decision with regard to in which genre to express his/her creativity. Second, Hoorn attempts to formulate a general mechanism that explains the forming of groups of genres. His hypotheses of genre formation includes the notion that if one hypothesis fails, the next would come into operation. Hoorn's proposal includes the notion of how to construct and to employ set theoretical and combinatory principles for word-frequency distributions as a mathematical representation of human behavior in the selection process of genre formation. Because the five hypotheses are strictly quantitative and not dependent on particular factors, they are open to testing under any experimental condition.

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