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Detecting Reuse of Biblical Quotes in Swedish 19th Century Fiction using Sequence Alignment

Conference contribution
Authors Dimitrios Kokkinakis
Mats Malm
Published in Corpus-based Research in the Humanities workshop (CRH), 10 December 2015 Warsaw, Poland
Pages 79-86
ISBN 978-83-63159-19-1
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Department of Swedish
Pages 79-86
Language en
Keywords text re-use, sequence alignment, shingles, Swedish prose fiction
Subject categories Language Technology (Computational Linguistics), Computational linguistics


Text reuse, a form of text repetition, recycling or borrowing, is a theoretically and practically interesting problem that has attracted considerable attention during the last years e.g. in the cultural heritage context (historical and comparative linguistics); in the context of social network propagation of ideas and in the measuring of journalistic reuse. In this paper we briefly outline and experiment with a method used for biological sequence alignment that have been also used in humanities research for e.g. the detection of similar passages in the complete works of Voltaire and 18th century French encyclopedias or for tracing how and which ideas spread in 19th century US-newspaper collections. We use available software (text-PAIR: Pairwise Alignment for Intertextual Relations) and experiment with the Charles XII Bible translation into Swedish, completed in 1703, against the content of the Swedish prose fiction 1800-1900, in order to automatically detect passages taken from this particular Bible translation in the prose fiction corpus.

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