eTRAP (electronic Text Reuse Acquisition Project) is an Early Career Research Group funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The research group, starting on 1st March 2015, was awarded €1.6 million and runs for four years, supporting four full-time researchers and eight student assistants.
As the name suggests, this interdisciplinary team studies the linguistic and literary phenomenon that is text re-use with a particular focus on historical languages. More specifically, we look at how ancient authors copied, alluded to, paraphrased and translated each other as they spread their knowledge in writing. This early career research group seeks to provide a basic understanding of the “Historical Text Re-use” methodology (it being distinct from plagiarism), and so to study what defines text re-use, why some people re-use information and others don’t, how text is re-used and how this practice has changed over history. We’ll be investigating text re-use on big data or, in other words, datasets that, owing to their size, cannot be manually processed. The languages we’ll be working with are Ancient Greek, German, English, Italian and Latin. This research touches upon the fields of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Computational Linguistics, Digital Humanities, Classics, History, Theology and Philology but has also ramifications in Text Visualisation, Manuscript Studies and Bio-informatics, to mention but a few.