The Syntax of the Heroes? A Treebank-Based Approach to the Language of the Sophoclean Characters

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Abstract

This paper lays the foundation for a treebank-based studies of the syntax of the characters and choruses in Sophocles. The complete mopho-syntactic annotation encoded in the Ancient Greek and Latin Dependency Treebank (AGLDT), published by the Perseus Project, is used to extract information and statistics on the syntactic constructions from five of the seven extant tragedies of Sophocles (with the exclusion of Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus, which are not yet published in the AGLDT). Following the seminal approach applied by J.F. Burrows to the novels of Jane Austen, we investigate the distributions of the 30 most frequent dependency relations between part-of-speech and part-of-speech (like, for instance, noun-adjective or preposition-noun). This program entails a series of crucial methodological questions, concerning both practical and theoretical aspects, that are here discussed in full. By examining some of the most basic statistics used by Burrows, such as the correlation between characters based on the distributions of the constructions, it is already possible to isolate interesting syntactic phenomena that appear to characterize the diction of specific figures, such as Creon in the Antigone, or Electra and the Pedagogue in the Electra.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaCLASSICS@
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022

Keywords

  • Sophocles
  • characters
  • treebanks
  • ideolects
  • syntax

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