We will investigate the emerging patterns of variation by looking at various small corpora in detail and assemble the data on variation to build a cohesive picture of the language situation. This will clarify the dating of some of the most important Greek internal developments.
First we will focus on defining different levels of scribal professionalism. As a necessary starting point, we will define what ‘a scribe’ means and create a typology of the scribes’ linguistic identities.
Second, we will study lack of education and individual language competence by using a corpus of private letters. By comparing the language use of scribal documents and private letters, we will be able to pinpoint ongoing linguistic variation based on the vast amount of nonstandard language in the letters. The Latin corpus from Egypt will also be analyzed in relation to the scribal profiles in Latin.
The material will be analyzed by combining philological, linguistic and papyrological methods.
An important part of the methodology is morphological and syntactic annotation of the selected corpora of papyrus and ostracon material. Vierros’ previous project developed the idea of how papyrological material can be annotated following the Ancient Greek Dependency Treebank framework.
Our SEMATIA tool for preprocessing original and standard layers of the papyri for annotation was developed by Erik Henriksson. Currently the tool can be used for layering and storing the treebanked texts; it is in constant state of development towards a database where the linguistic features can be queried. (Questions and suggestions can be sent to Marja Vierros and Erik Henriksson)