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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.

Elmar Seebold

Abstract

Gmc. and oir. *orbho- ‘inheritance’ can be derived from the preliminary stage of oir. erbaid ‘entrust’; gr., lt. and arm. *orbho- ‘orphan’ could be derived from a word with prothetic vowel o- and reflect a root *rebh-. From these possibilities can be deduced that the two orbo’s are different words from beginning.

Erika Langbroek and Francis Brands

Abstract

It may be that the French and German authors of La vie du pape Grégoire and Gregorius were so influenced by classical texts as part of their education that these Gregorian legends contain motifs and structural elements of a classical comedy or tragedy. Therefore these legends are compared with twelve comedies by Plautus and Terence.

Carla Dauven-van Knippenberg

Gertjan Postma

Abstract

A well-known exception to Grimm’s Law, /kʷ/ > /f/ instead of /kʷ/ > /hʷ/, is taken as a starting point and its reflexes in Middle Dutch and Sal-Frankic are discussed. As to the PIE root *leikʷ-, MD and MLG līf- in the compounds līfeigen ‘owned by the fief’, līftuht ‘feudal law’, and līfcōp ‘feudal transaction fee’ is identified as derived from this root under a regular sound change, which is coined Uhlenbeck’s Law. Uhlenbeck’s Law acts as a resolution of a pansyllabic constraint, not a constraint on roots. As to Sal-Frankic, the new etymology of SF leo- ‘related to the tenements’’, and by extention ‘agricultural’, sheds new light on the structure of the Lex Salica. It is argued that the tripartite manorial system of land tenure has reflexes in juridical terminology of this archaic legal document.

Thomas Neukirchen

Abstract

There are convincing reasons to see the ‘Younger Titurel’ not as a continuation of the ‘Titurel’ Fragments, but as a critical supplement, completion and perfection of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s ‘Parzival’. It is against this backdrop that we need to explain the ‘Younger Titurel’ taking up and correcting Wolfram’s ‘Titurel’ verses. This article will provide such an explanation. It starts from the premise that Albrecht does not only critically distance himself from Wolframs narration, but also from the superficial form of the ‘Parzival’ and ‘Titurel’. From his perspective, the narrative form of ‘Parzival’ was inappropriate. This opinion manifests itself in the harmonized verse of YT. Through its claim to beauty, it promises to bestow a capacity for knowledge which is directed towards the Good. In that regard, the ‘Younger Titurel’ is a noëtic novel.