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We describe a novel method for measuring affective language in historical texts by expanding an affective lexicon and jointly adapting it to prior language stages. We automatically construct a lexicon for word-emotion association of 18th and 19th century German which is then validated against expert ratings. Subsequently, this resource is used to identify distinct emotional patterns and trace long-term emotional trends in different genres of writing spanning several centuries. This work isdblp:conf/lt4dh/BuechelHH16 fatcat:r4etsyk545cfxjq3b72nlmfv5q