I was reading a BBC article about "linguistic fingerprints". In my opinion a quite interesting idea, but there seems to exist a dispute in linguistic scientific community according to Wikipedia, how valid and objective such a concept is. Nevertheless, some research fields seem to use this concept in a very productive way, e.g. for analysing the number of different authors of the bible.
Being no expert in linguistics, but knowing that scientists often tend to create buzzwords, can somebody with more insight explain and give a short overview, if this dispute really exists and where linguistic researchers disagree? Is the concepts itself flawed, as such a quantity would be hard to measure in a valid, reliable and objective way (Operationalization). Or is it rather the the assumption that the "linguistic fingerprint" phenomenon doesn't exist at all?
On a personal note, I tend to believe in this concept and would assume that the unique elements of a single human fingerprint not only are typical used words and phrases, but also typical length of sentences, use of subordinate clauses. Reading and moderating over a decade in internet forums and usenet, the "linguistic fingerprint" concept seems quite obvious to me, the correct operationlization is of course very tricky.
Wiki-Definition of linguistic fingerprint:
It is formed as a result of merged language style. A person's linguistic fingerprint can be reconstructed from the individual's daily interactions and relate to a variety of self-reported personality characteristics, situational variables and physiological markers.