Semantic tagging and the Nordic tradition of everyman’s rights

Kimmo Kettunen, Matti La Mela

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This article uses semantic tagging to analyse the Nordic concept of everyman’s rights (a right of public access to nature) in protocols of the Finnish parliament. In the analysis, we use a novel tool, a lexical semantic tagger for Finnish (Finnish-language Semantic Tagger), which is used to tag key discussions about everyman’s rights in the Finnish parliament. The article has two contributions as follows: first, it presents a method that combines semantic tagging and similarity analysis of corpora (keyness) for studying the formation of political concepts in large textual data. Secondly, it sheds light on the Nordic access rights and the underlying customary everyman’s rights. Despite its central role in public debate, the history of the concept has not been well researched. Our analysis shows that the legislative context could be clearly detected with our approach, and that the method allowed us to describe shifts in the meaning of everyman’s rights in the legislative discussion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Scholarship in the Humanities
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)483–496
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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