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Toward Sequencing “Narrative DNA”: Tale Types, Motif Strings and Memetic Pathways
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Aarne-Thompson-Uther Tale Type Catalog (ATU) is a bibliographic tool which uses metadata from tale content, called motifs, to define tale types as canonical motif sequences. The motifs themselves are listed in another bibliographic tool, the Aarne-Thompson Motif Index (AaTh). Tale types in ATU are defined in an abstracted fashion and can be processed like a corpus. We analyzed 219 types with 1202 motifs from the “Tales of magic” (types 300-749) segment to exemplify that motif sequences show signs of recombination in the storytelling process. Compared to chromosome mutations in genetics, we offer examples for insertion/deletion, duplication and, possibly, transposition, whereas the sample was not sufficient to find inverted motif strings as well. These initial findings encourage efforts to sequence motif strings like DNA in genetics, attempting to find for instance the longest common motif subsequences in tales. Expressing the network of motif connections by graphs suggests that tale plots as consolidated pathways of content help one memorize culturally engraved messages. We anticipate a connection between such networks and addington’s epigenetic landscape.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Tale type, motif, motif sequence, mutation, recombination, plot development, memetic pathway, epigenetic landscape, Cultural Studies, Ethnology, Genetics, bioinformatics, language technology (computational linguistics, Library and Information Science
National Category
Information Studies Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Library and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-6904Local ID: 2320/11830OAI: diva2:887611
2012 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(156 kB)