Browse results

Language and Chronology

Text dating by machine learning

Series:

Edited by Gregory Toner and Xiwu Han

In Language and Chronology, Toner and Han apply innovative Machine Learning techniques to the problem of the dating of literary texts. Many ancient and medieval literatures lack reliable chronologies which could aid scholars in locating texts in their historical context. The new machine-learning method presented here uses chronological information gleaned from annalistic records to date a wide range of texts. The method is also applied to multi-layered texts to aid the identification of different chronological strata within single copies.
While the algorithm is here applied to medieval Irish material of the period c.700-c.1700, it can be extended to written texts in any language or alphabet. The authors’ approach presents a step change in Digital Humanities, moving us beyond simple querying of electronic texts towards the production of a sophisticated tool for literary and historical studies.

The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European

The Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic Hypotheses

Series:

Edited by Alwin Kloekhorst and Tijmen Pronk

In The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European some of the world’s leading experts in historical linguistics shed new light on two hypotheses about the prehistory of the Indo-European language family, the so-called Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic hypotheses. The Indo-Anatolian hypothesis states that the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family should be viewed as a sister language of ‘classical’ Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of all the other, non-Anatolian branches. The common ancestor of all Indo-European languages, including Anatolian, can then be called Proto-Indo-Anatolian. The Indo-Uralic hypothesis states that the closest genetic relative of Indo-European is the Uralic language family, and that both derive from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-Uralic. The book unravels the history of these hypotheses and scrutinizes the evidence for and against them.

Contributors are Stefan H. Bauhaus, Rasmus G. Bjørn, Dag Haug, Petri Kallio, Simona Klemenčič, Alwin Kloekhorst, Frederik Kortlandt, Guus Kroonen, Martin J. Kümmel, Milan Lopuhaä-Zwakenberg, Alexander Lubotsky, Rosemarie Lühr, Michaël Peyrot, Tijmen Pronk, Andrei Sideltsev, Michiel de Vaan, Mikhail Zhivlov.

Towards a Theory of Denominals

A Look at Incorporation, Phrasal Spell-Out and Spanning

Series:

Adina Camelia Bleotu

In Towards a Theory of Denominals, Adina Camelia Bleotu takes a comparative look at denominal verbs in English and Romanian from various theoretical frameworks such as lexical decomposition, distributed morphology, nanosyntax and spanning. The book proposes a novel spanning analysis, arguing for its explanatory superiority to incorporation/conflation or nanosyntax in accounting for the formation and behaviour of denominals. It provides useful empirical insights, drawing from rich data from English discussed widely in the relevant literature, but also presenting novel data from Romanian not explored in detail before. Many interesting theoretical issues are also discussed, such as the (lack of) correlation between the (un)boundedness of the nominal root and the (a)telicity of the resulting verb, the verb/ satellite-framed distinction and others.

Vedic Cosmology and Ethics

Selected Studies

Series:

Henk W. Bodewitz

Edited by Dory H. Heilijgers, Jan E.M. Houben and Karel van Kooij

How did ‘Vedic man’ think about the destiny of man after death and related ethical issues? That heaven was the abode of the gods was undisputed, but was it also accessible to man in his pursuit of immortality? Was there a realm of the deceased or a hell? What terms were used to indicate these ‘yonder worlds’? What is their location in the cosmos and which cosmographic classifications are at the root of these concepts? The articles by Henk Bodewitz collected in this volume, published over a period of 45 years, between 1969 and 2013, deal with these issues on the basis of a systematic philological study of early Vedic texts, from the Ṛgveda to various Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇykas and Upaniṣads.

Series:

Edited by Angela Ralli

This volume provides an unprecedented collection of data from Asia Minor Greek, namely from Cappadocian, Pharasiot, Silliot, Smyrniot, Aivaliot, Bithynian, Pontic, Propontis Tsakonian and the dialect of Adrianoupolis. It offers fresh and original reflections on the study of morphology, dialectology and language contact by examining issues regarding inflection, derivation and compounding, dealt with by Metin Bağrıaçık, Marianna Gkiouleka, Aslı Göksel, Mark Janse, Brian D. Joseph, Petros Karatsareas, Nikos Koutsoukos, Io Manolessou, Theodore Markopoulos, Dimitra Melissaropoulou, Nikos Pantelidis and Angela Ralli. An in-depth investigation of phenomena aims to increase our understanding of language change. They result either from a natural evolution of Asia Minor Greek, or from the interaction between the fusional Greek and the agglutinative Turkish or the semi-analytical Romance.

Basque and Romance

Aligning Grammars

Series:

Edited by Ane Berro, Fernández Beatriz and Jon Ortiz de Urbina

Aligning Grammars: Basque and Romance is a collection of articles describing and analyzing several of the most important morphosyntactic features for which the formal comparison between Basque and its surrounding Romance languages is relevant, such as word order, inflection, case, argument structure and causatives. In the context of a language virtually all of whose speakers are bilingual in either Spanish or French, the theoretically informed in-depth description offered in this volume focuses on the fine grain of linguistic structures from languages typologically quite apart but coexisting and probably interacting in the minds of speakers. It therefore aims at shedding some light on the types of interactions between different systems and on the systems themselves.

Series:

Edited by Charlene M. Eska

In A Raven’s Battle-cry Charlene M. Eska presents a critical edition and translation of the previously unpublished medieval Irish legal tract Anfuigell. Although the Old Irish text itself is fragmentary, the copious accompanying commentaries provide a wealth of legal, historical, and linguistic information not found elsewhere in the medieval Irish legal corpus. Anfuigell contains a wide range of topics relating to the role of the judge in deciding difficult cases, including kingship, raiding, poets, shipwreck, marriage, fosterage, divorce, and contracts relating to land and livestock.

Series:

Edited by Carla Suhr, Terttu Nevalainen and Irma Taavitsainen

From Data to Evidence in English Language Research draws on diverse digital data sources alongside more traditional linguistic corpora to offer new insights into the ways in which they can be used to extend and re-evaluate research questions in English linguistics. This is achieved, for example, by increasing data size, adding multi-layered contextual analyses, applying methods from adjacent fields, and adapting existing data sets to new uses. Making innovative contributions to digital linguistics, the chapters in the volume apply a combination of methods to the increasing amount of digital data available to researchers to show how this data – both established and newly available - can be utilized, enriched and rethought to provide new evidence for developments in the English language.

Series:

Verónica Orqueda

Reflexivity in Vedic offers a corpus-based synchronic and diachronic analysis of reflexivity in the language of the R̥gveda and Atharvaveda, two of the most ancient corpora ever composed in an Indo-European language. Applying a functional and cognitivist framework, Verónica Orqueda discusses the different possible strategies and proposes a distribution determined by the interaction between reflexivity, transitivity and valency. This study enriches typological approaches to the emergence of reflexives and therefore, on the basis of the Vedic data, it shows that nominal reflexive strategies may especially arise in contexts of underspecified verbal valency.

Voices on Birchbark

Everyday Communication in Medieval Russia

Series:

Jos Schaeken

In Voices on Birchbark Jos Schaeken explores the major role that writing on birchbark – an ephemeral, even ‘throw-away’ form of correspondence and administration – played in the vibrant medieval merchant city of Novgorod and other cities in the Russian Northwest. Birchbark literacy was crucial to the organization of Novgorodian society; it was integrated into a huge variety of activities and had a broad social basis; it was used extensively by the laity, by women as well as men, by villagers as well as landlords. Voices on Birchbark is the first book-length study of this unique corpus in English. By examining a representative selection of birchbark texts, Jos Schaeken presents fascinating vignettes of daily medieval life and a holistic picture of the pragmatics of communication in pre-modern societies.