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In textual transmission, exemplar shift is a simple form of contamination. A scribe used several exemplars in copying of a text, but rather than using them simultaneously, he or she copied some parts from one exemplar and some from the other, thus shifting from one exemplar to another. A common reason for this happening will have been that the first exemplar was missing parts that the scribe was able to find in another manuscript and copied them from there. Both the methods of classical textual criticism and those of computer-assisted stemmatology can trace exemplar shift rather relatively well.

In other languages

DE: Vorlagenwechsel
FR: changement d'exemplaire
IT: cambio d'esemplare