Getting started with Tropes
Tropes software proposes numerous semantic analysis tools designed for Information Science, Market Research, Qualitative Analysis and Linguistic Analysis. This quick guide is aimed at people who want to analyze the reference (e.g. answer to the question: “What is the text about?”) Keep in mind, however, that in order to create an accessible guide we had to remove many functions, described in Tropes Reference Manual (download with Tropes!)
Launch Tropes, open a file, click on [References], then select items of the list (in the left frame):
The main analysis results are displayed on the left of the screen, while the text extracts and graphs are shown on the right.
This function group together closely related references (common nouns, proper nouns, trademarks) appearing frequently throughout the text. For example, “father” and “mother” are grouped together into the “family” reference. In the above example, “child” is grouped with “children”, and we have 17 occurrences of this reference (see the left frame).
In the graph each reference appears as a sphere whose surface is proportional to the number of words it contains. In the example below, “child”, “UNICEF”, “project” and “development” contain more words occurrences than “UN” and “agency”:
The graph shows also the relations with the central reference. The relations indicate which references are frequently connected (e.g. found in the same phrase). The distance between the central reference and the others is proportional to the number of relations connecting them. In the above example, “UN” (United Nations) shares many relations with “UNICEF” and “agency”, and fewer relations with “legislature” or “refugee”. Without reading this document, we can understand that UN works with UNICEF, agency, children and project development. See UNICEF website (www.unicef.org) for more information.
The relations are oriented according to the occurrence order of the words comprising them. It makes sense, for example, think of the (big) difference of meaning between “Wall Street” and “street wall”.
There is little room for chance in the display of relations: finding two references several times in the same text in the same order is indeed unlikely to happen. When it does, it means that these two references are strongly connected, and this reveals the notions emphasized by the author of the text (but not necessarily what he intended to put into the text).
The display of the references and of their relations brings you to the heart of the discourse: all the actors, objects, things and concepts presented in the text will appear before you in decreasing order of importance.
Tropes enables you to create your own semantic classification (called scenario) regarding substantives (references), verbs or adjectives, and so to personalize and/or expand the software’s dictionaries according to your analysis strategy.
With the scenario, you can:
- define your own personalized classifications (ontologies),
- customize information retrieval (for Zoom search engine),
- define an analysis grid and export results.
To update or create a scenario, use the [Tools][Scenario] command. All the Graphic User Interface (GUI) of Tropes contains popup menus (right-click with the mouse) which allow adding or inserting easily words or references of in the scenario:
A scenario consists of a number of semantic groups, i.e. several combinations of substantives, lemmas and/or references. Most combinations can be made by means of the mouse, either in the scenario tool or interactively with Tropes’ main window.
When viewing a reference (or verbs/adjectives) on the result frame, you can add it directly to the scenario by dragging it with the mouse and dropping it on the scenario window, or by using the pop-up menu (right-click with the mouse on the left frame). You can also use the [Search/Add] dialog of Tropes, type a word (or a compound word) and add it to the scenario. All the references included in the scenario are checked, so you can easily add the unchecked items to the scenario to make sure that the classification is exhaustive.
When your scenario is done you must save it ([File][Save] of the scenario tool), and use it, for example, with the report writer to publish your results.
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