Finding the historical changes of Greek language through digital grammar

The aim of the PapyGreek project is to transform the existing digital corpus of Greek documentary papyri so that it yields to computational linguistic methods. This transformation project serves Greek and general historical linguistics, for whom the papyrological material has so far been very difficult to utilize. After the transformation process we can study the linguistic variations in the papyrological material, which again leads to more precise knowledge on the developments of the Greek language. PapyGreek is lead by Associate Professor of Classical Philology Marja Vierros.
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How was the Greek language actually used by the common people in, for example, the streets and market places of Alexandria or Thebes in Hellenistic or Roman times? How does it differ from the legal language written by notaries? Historical linguistics traces the variation in language on many levels, in phonology, in morphology, in syntax and semantics, in order to understand how languages evolve. Greek papyri from Egypt present us everyday language in many forms so that it is possible to study variation across time (diachronic variation), place (diatopic variation), different social groups (diaphasic variation) and linguistic register/style (diastratic variation).

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