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A Corpus-Based Foray into Latin Preverbs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents how a quantitative analysis of corpus data can contribute to the field of Latin computational linguistics. The investigation presented in this chapter testifies the challenge of applying quantitative corpus linguistics to Latin data. In addition, this chapter employs appropriate statistical techniques that measure the degree of uncertainty in the data, in order to overcome the issues related to small diachronic corpora. The evolution of Latin preverbs (PVs) seems to conform to a case of univerbation involving fusion of morphemes and loss of semantic compositionality. Some Romance descendants of Latin PVs have kept a spatial meaning, although PVs may not be recognisable any longer as satellites. The chapter summarizes the linguistic findings that resulted from this methodological approach. This is compatible with the more general evolution from the synthetic features of Latin towards the analytical systems of Romance languages.

Keywords: Latin computational linguistics; Latin preverbs (PVs); quantitative corpus linguistics; Romance languages



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