A New Algorithm for Extracting Formulas from Poetic Texts and Formulaic Density of Russian Bylinas
- Volume 30, Number 1
- Dmitry Nikolayev
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The problem of identifying formulas in poetic texts played an important role in folkloristics and several other fields, such as medieval literary studies, for more than fifty-odd years. Currently, there is no consensus as to what constitutes a formula or how the formulaic density of a given text should be computed. Nikolayev essays responds to these questions with a strict formal definition of a formula and a fast algorithm for computing formulaic density in any poetic text in any language (provided it is separated into lines and words). A case study of formulaic density in a corpus of Russian bylinas is marshaled to illustrate the methodology.
The mean formulaic density for the corpus computed with 4-symbol keys and 5-symbol keys.
Chart: by the author.
An arc diagram of formulaic connections between the lines of the bylina Dobrynya and the dragon.
Diagram: by the author. It was made in R using package ”arcdiagram” by Gaston Sanchez available at https://github.com/gastonstat/arcdiagram.