Historical Semantics

Historical Semantics, Coocompetition Analysis and Collation

Institute(s): Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Financed with funds from the project executing agency: Dec. 2014 – Nov. 2017 as pilot project
Project collaborators

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Jussen, Goethe University Frankfurt (Humanities)
Prof. Dr. Alexander Mehler, Goethe University Frankfurt (Computer Sciences)
Giuseppe Abrami, Goethe University Frankfurt (Computer Sciences)
Dr. Tim Geelhaar, Goethe University Frankfurt (History)
Wahed Hemati, Goethe University Frankfurt (Computer Sciences)
Tolga Uslu, Goethe University Frankfurt (Computer Sciences)
Alexandra Ernst, Goethe University Frankfurt (History)


As a web-based working environment for historical semantics, the project offers its services on an expert website (HSCM Historical Semantics Corpus Management) and a lay website (CompHistSem Computational Historical Semantics) with fewer working possibilities. The overall concept, which is fully accessible on HSCM, includes (1) repository management, (2) a component for creating and managing lexicons, (3) a system for creating word networks, and (4) a lemma-based tool for visually observing differences in word usage between individual texts (e.g. long-term diachronic changes). On top of that, the project aims to develop further building blocks for computer-based historical-semantic research. On the one hand, this concerns the development of a building block for the connection of repository management with text collation operations. The editions that can be produced on this basis will make it possible to read texts using all the manuscripts considered, and also to compare them with one another. A central task of the project also concerns the development of a time-structured lexicon of the Latin language, which allows the time-sensitive processing of Latin texts. A further task aims at the systematic improvement of the automatic syntactic analysis in order to automate the tagging of Latin texts more extensively than before. The project results will be tested in the context of cooperating online edition projects.


CompHistSem (http://www.comphistsem.org/home.html)
eHumanities Desktop (https://hudesktop.hucompute.org)
TextImager (http://textimager.hucompute.org/)
Wikidition (https://hucompute.org/applications/wikidition/)

Relevant publications

  • Mehler, A., Gleim, R., vor der Brück, T., Hemati, W., Uslu, T. and Eger, S., 2016. Wikidition: Automatic Lexiconization and Linkification of Text Corpora. In Information Technology, 2016.
  • Mehler, A., Wagner, B. and Gleim, R., 2016. Wikidition: Towards A Multi-layer Network Model of Intertextuality. In Proceedings of DH 2016, 12-16 July, 2016.
  • W. Hemati, T. Uslu, and A. Mehler, “TextImager: a Distributed UIMA-based System for NLP,” in Proceedings of the COLING 2016 System Demonstrations, 2016.
  • B. Wagner, A. Mehler, and H. Biber, “Transbiblionome Daten in der Literaturwissenschaft. Texttechnologische Erschließung und digitale Visualisierung intertextueller Beziehungen digitaler Korpora,” in DHd 2016, 2016.
  • S. Eger, T. vor der Brück, and A. Mehler, “Lexicon-assisted tagging and lemmatization in Latin: A comparison of six taggers and two lemmatization methods,” in Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Language Technology for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, and Humanities (LaTeCH 2015), Beijing, China, 2015.
  • S. Eger, R. Gleim, and A. Mehler, “Lemmatization and Morphological Tagging in German and Latin: A comparison and a survey of the state-of-the-art,” in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, 2016.
  • T. vor der Brück and A. Mehler, “TLT-CRF: A Lexicon-supported Morphological Tagger for Latin Based on Conditional Random Fields,” in Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, 2016.
  • Cimino, R., Geelhaar, T., Schwandt, S., 2015. Digital Approaches to Historical Semantics: new research directions at Frankfurt University. In: Storicamente 11. storicamente.org/historical_semantics
  • Geelhaar T., 2015. Talking About christianitas at the Time of Innocent III (1198–1216): What Does Word Use Contribute to the History of Concepts? In: Contributions to the history of concepts 10/2, p. 7-28. – See more at: journals.berghahnbooks.com/choc
  • Gleim, R., Mehler A., 2015. TTLab Preprocessor – Eine generische Web-Anwendung für die Vorverarbeitung von Texten und deren Evaluation. Posterpräsentation im Rahmen der Jahrestagung der Digital Humanities im deutschsprachigen Raum, Graz, 2015.
  • Jussen, B., Rohmann, G., 2015, Historical Semantics in Medieval Studies: New Means and Approaches. In: Contributions to the history of concepts 10/2, p. 1-6. – See more at: journals.berghahnbooks.com/choc
  • Mehler, A., vor der Brück, T., Gleim, R. and Geelhaar, T., 2015. Towards a Network Model of the Coreness of Texts: An Experiment in Classifying Latin Texts using the TTLab Latin Tagger. In: C. Biemann and Mehler A., ed. 2015. Text Mining: From Ontology Learning to Automated text Processing Applications (Theory and Applications of Natural Language Processing). Berlin/New York: Springer, p. 87-112.
  • Mehler, A., Lücking, A., 2017. Modelle sozialer Netzwerke und Natural Language Processing: eine methodologische Randnotiz. In: Soziologie, vol. 46, no. 1, p 43-47
  • T. Uslu, A. Mehler, and D. Meyer, “LitViz: Visualizing Literary Data by Means of text2voronoi,” in Proceedings of the Digital Humanities 2018, 2018.