CATMA, short for “Computer Assisted Text Markup & Analysis”, is an annotation tool that can be used to support a variety of individual text-based research projects – especially in the context of narratology. What sets CATMA apart from other digital annotation methods is its ‘undogmatic’ approach: the system does neither prescribe defined annotation schemata or rules, nor does it force the user to apply rigid yes/no, right/wrong taxonomies to texts. Rather, CATMA’s logic invites users to explore the richness and multi-facettedness of textual phenomena according to their needs.
Version 5.0 of the tool is available under www.catma.de and ready to use even for scholars with very little technical knowledge. CATMA offers powerful search functions, flexible modes of manual text annotation, and now even automated routines that identify basic linguistic or narrative features of texts. The combination of statistic, automated functions and flexible manual annotation of more complex phenomena enables researchers to back up their hermeneutic enterprises with detailed, text-oriented analyses. The goal is to receive more empirical results than a ‘classic’ reading would probably reveal. Since CATMA is available online, research results can easily be shared with other CATMA users, and even the research itself can be conducted in collaborative mode.
More information on CATMA can be found under www.catma.de.
The website www.heureclea.de documents the process of generating CATMA’s now available automated annotation function via collaborative manual annotation and machine learning in a three-year project (2013–2016).
In the context of the current DFG-funded project forTEXT, CATMA will be further modified to feature more powerful analysis options, to account for the hermeneutic needs of literary scholars on a more basic level, and to offer different general operational modes for users with different degrees of technical knowledge. More information can be found under www.fortext.net.