Advanced Search

On this page you can adjust a number of settings which are otherwise set for you by default.


Here you can choose the textual units which are compared. Choices are verse lines or grammatical phrases. Phrases are delimited for this purpose by editorial punctuation, and parsed automatically.

Feature Set

This means the textual features which must be shared to consitute a match. The default is lemma, meaning two words are judged to match if they share a dictionary headword. Setting this to exact form only will require inflected forms to match exactly.

Lemma + synonyms is an experimental option which attempts to match forms not only to their own dictionary headword but also to headwords having related meanings. The relationship between headwords was determined automatically by parsing of a Latin-English dictionary; this procedure and the dictionary used are under revision and may change.

Number of Stop Words

To reduce the number of uninteresting results, you can choose to exclude matches with high-frequency features. The stoplist is determined for the selected feature set by ranking features within the stoplist basis (see below) according to frequency, and taking the top N items from this list. The default stoplist size for a Basic Search is 10.

Note that the stop list is feature-set specific. If your feature set is exact-form only, then inflected forms are used; if the feature set is stems or stems + synonyms, then headwords are used. The complete stoplist used in a given search is printed at the bottom of each results page.

Stoplist Basis

By default, the ranked list of features from which the stoplist is drawn is calculated across the entire Tesserae corpus. This can be changed to use features from the target text only, from the source only, or from just the target and source combined.

For example, in a default search, matches against the top 10 most frequent headwords in the entire corpus will be ignored. Some of these words may be less frequent in the particular texts compared. If you set the stoplist basis to “target,” then matches against the top 10 most frequent headwords in the target text will be ignored.

Maximum Distance

This allows you to exclude matches where the matching words are too far from each other to be relevant. Distance is measured inclusively in words: two adjacent words thus have a distance of 2. Two words with one between them have a distance of 3.

Note that the way this distance is calculated has recently changed. If your results seem more inclusive compared to Fall 2012 (and you don't want this) try setting max distance lower.

In a Basic Search, there is no max distance limit.

Distance Metric

There are two principal modes for calculating the max distance described above. Frequency, the default, attempts to zero in on the most relevant words in an allusion, measuring the distance only between the phrase's two most infrequent words. Span considers the greatest distance between any two matching words in a phrase.

In addition, the max distance threshold can be applied to the sum of the distances of the target and source phrases, or only to one or the other. Note that this will halve the total distance for each parallel, causing scores to be higher.

Drop Scores Below

This will exclude results based on the score automatically assigned by Tesserae. Testing of the scoring system is ongoing, but preliminary results show that parallels scoring 6 or above are more likely to be interesting. The default is no cutoff.