The contribution of Latin to French-language quantitative linguistics: from lemmatisation to grammaticometry and textual topology

Abstract : In this overview of quantitative linguistics in France, we focus on works involving Latin corpora. Our contribution points out that statistical handling of digitized Latin texts is an original and important addition to quantitative linguistics studies, and we investigate the epistemological foundations of this addition. To this end, we go beyond the boundaries of France and look to Belgium, because the development of quantitative studies devoted to Latin texts is a Franco-Belgian achievement, and is based almost entirely on resources produced, beginning in 1961, by the Laboratory for the Statistical Analysis of Ancient Languages (LASLA) at the University of Liège 1. We first emphasize the role of lemmatisation, and show how this simple operation of abstraction and regrouping allows other more or less complex analysis units to emerge. We then discuss the importance that variability of word order in Latin has assumed with regard to research issues and approaches; finally we discuss software advances and certain necessary adaptations involving digital research methods and quantitative handling made necessary by specific approaches to Latin corpora.
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Dominique Longrée, Sylvie Mellet. The contribution of Latin to French-language quantitative linguistics: from lemmatisation to grammaticometry and textual topology. Jacqueline LEON, Sylvain LOISEAU. History of Quantitative Linguistics in France, 24, RAM Verlag, pp.120-136, 2016, Studies in Quantitative Linguistics 24, 978-3-942303-48-4. 〈http://www.ram-verlag.eu/4778-2/〉. 〈hal-01571102〉

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