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Month: June 2009

Lerna VIa: For Zeus’ Sake, How Many Words?

By: | Post date: 2009-06-18 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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[Counts in this post have been corrected in Lerna VId] At long last, after nine posts of teasing, will I finally give the punters a count of lemmata of Greek? Why yes. Yes I will. And then for a change, I will also set to work inflating it, to extrapolate from the current corpus and […]

Lerna Vb: Forms of Good Pedigree

By: | Post date: 2009-06-15 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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[Counts in this post have been corrected in Lerna VIc] In the last post, we did some pruning of the word form count of our corpora, and came up with some numbers. We also noted that, once you pruned away the 137 forms of ἀνήρ, you’re still left with 42 forms of ἀνήρ. (Did I […]

Lerna Va: Word Form Counts, pruning

By: | Post date: 2009-06-11 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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[Counts in this post have been corrected in Lerna VIc] So surely, after all the disclaimers in previous posts, I will now tell you how many words there are in Greek? Oh no. Not at all. Not even close. Before I alight at the burning question of how many lemmata of Greek (and when), I’m […]

Lerna IV: Corpora

By: | Post date: 2009-06-10 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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So having spent four posts on why we should not count words of Greek, I will count words of Greek. The counts are only meaningful relative to a corpus, so here I detail what’s in the corpus I’ll be using, PHI #7 + TLG—and how I will end up treating it as four concentric corpora. […]

Lerna IIId: Why we do not count lemmata

By: | Post date: 2009-06-05 | Comments: 5 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: ,

Now, the whole point of any word counting venture, such as Lerna attempts and gets galumphingly wrong, is not the corpus size, which is contingent and always less than infinity; nor is it the number of word forms, which tells you about morphological happenstance but not about vocabularies. When people talk about words, they mean […]

Lerna IIIc: Why the Greek scales are rigged

By: | Post date: 2009-06-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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Even if you allow for the fact that Greek is flexional and has lots of inflections, a literary corpus of Greek is going to have a lot more morphological variety than most other literary languages. That doesn’t tell you something about the superiority of the Greek language. But it does tell you a bit about […]

Lerna IIIb: Why we do not count word forms

By: | Post date: 2009-06-05 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: , ,

Greek is a flexional language: it’s not English. A single noun can have 11 different inflections. A single adjective can have 23 inflections. A single verb? I’ll throw in the second aorist as well as the first, though I really shouldn’t—verbs mostly had just one aorist at a time. I’ll be generous, we’ll call it […]

Lerna IIIa: Why we do not count word instances

By: | Post date: 2009-06-05 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
Tags: ,

This blogpost in the ongoing thread on the Lernaean Text and counting words in Greek (see Lerna II, Lerna I) may be misdirected to the readership of this blog. It goes through basic notions in linguistics that some of you will be familiar enough with to be annoyed at. And given how the Lernaean text […]

Lerna II: Definitions

By: | Post date: 2009-06-02 | Comments: 2 Comments
Posted in categories: Ancient Greek, Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek
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I’ve started a series of posts on counting words in Greek (see: Lerna I). This is the kind of thing that revokes your linguistics cabal membership card, so I have to add that the posts are really about the journey to counting words, and the questions that come up along the way, rather than the […]

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