References of "Polis, Stéphane"
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See detailMethIS V. La valeur de la science. Pourquoi évaluer la recherche
Cormann, Grégory ULiege; Dozo, Björn-Olav ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Book published by Presses universitaires de Liège (in press)

Actes du colloque du 10 et 11 décembre 2009 qui s'est tenu à Liège à l'initiative du personnel scientifique

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See detailLa modalité en néo-égyptien
Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Book published by Brill (in press)

Cette monographie est issue de ma thèse de doctorat qui constituait la première étude globale de la modalité en néo-égyptien. Le chapitre introductif [§1] est consacré à la définition du corpus néo ... [more ▼]

Cette monographie est issue de ma thèse de doctorat qui constituait la première étude globale de la modalité en néo-égyptien. Le chapitre introductif [§1] est consacré à la définition du corpus néo-égyptien et intègre une discussion des différentes formes de variation (diachronique, diatopique, diaphasique et diastratique) au sein du corpus néo-égyptien. Cet effort définitoire conforte l’assise empirique de l’étude : la ventilation du corpus en fonction de critères chronologiques et géographiques, de la nature du support et des genres littéraires permet d’objectiver les analyses proposées pour chaque expression de la modalité. Le corps du travail se divise en trois parties consacrées, respectivement, [§2] à une définition générale de la notion de modalité (devant permettre de déterminer les media expressifs qui relèvent de son étude en néo-égyptien) ainsi qu’à l’établissement d’un modèle sémantique de cette notion qui réponde aux impératifs d’économie ainsi que de cohérence et qui rende justice aux données typologiques ; [§3] à l’étude des modalités radicales (i.e. les modalités déontiques et bouliques), en envisageant les relations qu’elles entretiennent avec le domaine axiologique ; [§4] à l’examen des modalités assertives ([§4.a] analyse des formes de complémentation, en ce compris les liens entre intégration syntaxique, variation de l’assertivité et degrés de manipulation ; [§4.b] étude de l’impact des auxiliaires d’énonciation sur le degré d’assertivité d’une proposition ; [§4.c] critique des théories existantes concernant les moyens expressifs du discours indirect en néo-égyptien). Les conclusions [§5] sont accompagnées de propositions prospectives devant permettre [§5.a] de rendre le modèle défendu applicable pour l’étude des complexes conditionnels, [§5.b] d’intégrer la dimension énonciative dans l’analyse des relations interpersonnelles, [§5.c] de décrire adéquatement les expressions de la causalité et de la finalité. [less ▲]

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See detailLExical DIAchronic SEmantic MAps (Le Diasema): From simple networks to mixed multi-edge graphs
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Conference (2018, June 28)

The aim of this talk is threefold. First, it shows that – using synchronic polysemy data from large language samples, such as CLICS (List et al., 2014), the Open Multilingual Wordnet (http://compling.hss ... [more ▼]

The aim of this talk is threefold. First, it shows that – using synchronic polysemy data from large language samples, such as CLICS (List et al., 2014), the Open Multilingual Wordnet (http://compling.hss.ntu.edu.sg/omw/), or BabelNet (https://babelnet.org/ about) – one can infer large-scale weighted lexical semantic maps. These maps, which are constructed with the help of an adapted version of the algorithm introduced by Regier, Khetarpal, and Majid (2013), respect the connectivity hypothesis (Croft, 2001) and the ‘economy principle’ (Georgakopoulos & Polis, 2018). As such, they generate more interesting implicational universals than regular colexification networks. Additionally, the automatically plotted semantic maps can be examined using standard network exploration software tools. These tools reveal much information otherwise ‘hidden’ in the graph — such as the modularity of the network, the centrality of meanings, etc. — and are essential when it comes to interpreting large-scale crosslinguistic datasets. Second, this talk seeks to demonstrate how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into synchronic lexical semantic maps. We illustrate the principle with the semantic extension of time-related lexemes (e.g. TIME, HOUR, SEASON, DAY) in Ancient Greek (8th BC– 1st c. AD) and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic (26th c. BC – 10th c. AD). Both languages give access to significant diachronic material, allowing us to trace long term processes of semantic change within the lexicon. From a methodological point of view, we argue for the use of various types of graphs, including mixed multi-edge ones, which can capture bidirectionalities in semantic change and cases when information about pathways of change are not available (see already van der Auwera and Plungian, 1998 for the use of directed graphs). Third, in an effort to address some critiques that are voiced against the classical semantic maps approach, we suggest that this type of map can be used conjointly with (1) statistical techniques for dimensionality reductions (such as MDS, t-SNE, etc., see already Croft & Poole, 2008) and (2) Formal Concept Analysis (FCA, see Ryzhova & Obiedkov 2017). Based on a case-study on verbs of perception and cognition, we illustrate the complementarity between the three approaches for revealing universal areal and language specific patterns within the lexicon. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Thot Sign-List (TSL). A referenced online hieroglyphic sign-list
Grotenhuis, Jorke ULiege; Haffeman, Ingelore; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, June 14)

Detailed reference viewed: 16 (4 ULiège)
See detailSemantic maps and lexical typology. Resources, tools and methods (with two case-studies targeting diachronic and areal patterns)
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, May 18)

The semantic map model is relatively new in linguistic research, but it has been intensively used during the past three decades for studying a variety of cross-linguistic and language-specific questions ... [more ▼]

The semantic map model is relatively new in linguistic research, but it has been intensively used during the past three decades for studying a variety of cross-linguistic and language-specific questions. The number of linguistic domains to which the model has been applied highlights its efficiency in capturing regular patterns of semantic structure and crosslinguistic similarities of form-meaning correspondence (for a complete list of domains, see Georgakopoulos & Polis, 2018). One of the advantages of the model is that any type of meaning can be integrated in semantic maps, such as the functions of grammatical morphemes, the meanings of entire constructions, or the senses of lexical items, resulting in grammatical, constructional, and lexical semantic maps, respectively. However, the different types of maps have not received equal attention in the literature. Rather, there is a strong bias towards studies describing the cross-linguistic polyfunctionality of grammatical morphemes and constructions. Additionally, the bulk of research using the semantic map method has been adopting a synchronic perspective and the limited research that has added the diachronic dimension has focused almost exclusively on the grammatical domain (e.g., van der Auwera & Plungian, 1998; Narrog, 2010). A notable common denominator of most of the studies is that semantic maps have been plotted manually (cf., however, the studies using the Multidimensional Scaling procedure). The aim of this talk is threefold. First, it shows that – using synchronic polysemy data from large language samples, such as CLICS (List et al., 2014) or the Open Multilingual Wordnet (http://compling.hss.ntu.edu.sg/omw/) – one can infer large-scale weighted lexical semantic maps. These maps, which are constructed with the help of an adapted version of the algorithm introduced by Regier, Khetarpal, and Majid (2013), respect the connectivity hypothesis (Croft, 2001) and what we call the ‘economy principle’. As such, they generate more interesting implicational universals than regular colexification networks. Additionally, the automatically plotted semantic maps can be examined using standard network exploration software tools. These tools reveal much information otherwise ‘hidden’ in the graph — such as the modularity of the network, the centrality of meanings, etc. — and are essential when it comes to interpreting large-scale crosslinguistic datasets. Second, this talk seeks to demonstrate how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into lexical semantic maps. We illustrate the method with the semantic extension of time-related lexemes (e.g. TIME, HOUR, SEASON, DAY) in Ancient Greek (8th – 1st c. BC) and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic (26th c. BC – 10th c. AD). Both languages give access to significant diachronic material, allowing us to trace long term processes of semantic change. Third, in an effort to address some of the shortcomings of classical semantic maps, we suggest that they can be used conjointly with a new approach, namely Formal Concept Analysis (FCA, see Ryzhova & Obiedkov 2017). This complementarity between the two approaches proves to be efficient in revealing both language universals and areal patterns within the lexicon. A case-study on verbs of perception and cognition based on different datasets allows us to illustrates both the potentialities and the limitations of such an approach. [less ▲]

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See detailLa Thot Sign-List (TSL). Construction d’une liste de signes hiéroglyphiques en ligne
Grotenhuis, Jorke ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, May 05)

Presentation of the history, data model and online implementation of the Thot Sign-list (TSL)

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See detailPlotting and exploring lexical semantic maps: Resources, tools, and methodological issues
Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, April 17)

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See detailDiachronic and areal patterns: New applications of the semantic map model in lexical typology
Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, April 16)

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See detailNarração e argumentação. Retorno à análise do discurso em ciências sociais
Lttr13; Badir, Sémir ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege et al

in Estudos Semióticos (2018), 14(1), 55-64

A aparente congruência entre modelos de análise e tipos de discurso, apesar da extensão de aplicabilidade a qual esses modelos podem reivindicar, abre caminho para questões relativas à legitimidade de uma ... [more ▼]

A aparente congruência entre modelos de análise e tipos de discurso, apesar da extensão de aplicabilidade a qual esses modelos podem reivindicar, abre caminho para questões relativas à legitimidade de uma tipologia dos discursos. Poderia ela se colocar acima dos postulados teóricos que embasam as correlações entre modelos de análise e tipos de discurso? Em caso negativo, o que estaria em jogo na questão tipológica? Comparando os postulados do método semiótico com os outros modelos analíticos propostos nesse domínio, nosso objetivo é lançar luz sobre as posições defendidas por uns e outros nesse debate teórico, que, ao longo das três últimas décadas, não deixou de evoluir. [less ▲]

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See detailLexical semantic maps in diachrony and synchrony: theoretical, methodological, and representational issues
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2018, February 27)

The semantic map model is relatively new in linguistic research, but it has been intensively used during the past three decades for studying a variety of cross-linguistic and language-specific questions ... [more ▼]

The semantic map model is relatively new in linguistic research, but it has been intensively used during the past three decades for studying a variety of cross-linguistic and language-specific questions. The plethora of linguistic domains to which the model has been applied highlights its efficiency in capturing regular patterns of semantic structure and crosslinguistic similarities of form-meaning correspondence (for a complete list of domains, see van der Auwera & Temürcü, 2006: 132; Cysouw, Haspelmath, & Malchukov, 2010; Georgakopoulos & Polis, forthcoming). One of the advantages of the model is that any type of meaning can be integrated in semantic maps, such as the meanings or functions of grammatical morphemes, of entire constructions, or of lexical items, resulting in grammatical, constructional, and lexical semantic maps, respectively. However, it is fair to say that the different types of maps have not received equal attention in the literature. Rather, there is a strong bias towards studies describing cross-linguistic polysemies of grammatical morphemes and constructions. Additionally, the bulk of research using the semantic map method has been adopting a synchronic perspective and the limited research that has added the diachronic dimension has focused almost exclusively on the grammatical domain (e.g., van der Auwera & Plungian, 1998; Narrog, 2010). A notable common denominator of most of the studies is that the classical semantic maps have been plotted manually. The aim of this talk is threefold. First, it will show that existing synchronic polysemy data in large language samples, such as CLICS (List et al., 2014) or the Open Multilingual Wordnet (http://compling.hss.ntu.edu.sg/omw/), can be converted into homogeneous lexical matrices using Python scripts. From these lexical matrices, one can infer large-scale weighted classical lexical semantic maps, using an adapted version of the algorithm introduced by Regier, Khetarpal, and Majid (2013). With this approach, we are able to automatically plot lexical semantic maps from a significant amount of cross- linguistic data. These maps are structured respecting the connectivity hypothesis (Croft, 2001) and what we call the ‘economy principle’. As such, they generate more interesting implicational universals than regular colexification networks and can be falsified based on additional empirical evidence. Second, this talk seeks to demonstrate how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into a semantic map. In order to illustrate the method, we take the example of the semantic extension of time-related lexemes (e.g. TIME , HOUR , SEASON , DAY ) in Ancient Greek (8th – 1st c. BC) and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic (26th c. BC – 10th c. AD). Both languages give access to significant diachronic material, allowing us to trace long term processes of semantic change. This diachronic take on the polysemic networks of content words has a methodological bearing on the model, since it serves as a compass on how to plot automatically diachronic semantic map. Third, the talk will illustrate how the automatically plotted semantic maps can be examined using standard network exploration systems. These tools, with many built-in statistical methods, reveal much information otherwise ‘hidden’ in the graph — such as the modularity of the network, the centrality of the meanings, etc. — and are essential when it comes to interpreting large- scale crosslinguistic datasets. The potentialities in this area will be illustrated throughout the talk. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Thot Sign-list. Introducing the online hieroglyphic sign-list (aka TSL)
Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Conference (2018, January 18)

Presentation of a beta version of the Thot Sign-list (TSL), the first online repository of hieroglyphic signs. The TSL crucially allows (1) for the encoding of all the functions associated with a ... [more ▼]

Presentation of a beta version of the Thot Sign-list (TSL), the first online repository of hieroglyphic signs. The TSL crucially allows (1) for the encoding of all the functions associated with a hieroglyphic character, (2) for recording as many sources as needed for each sign and function, and (3) for structuring the various shapes into classes that may have additional semographic functions. [less ▲]

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See detailDe la scripturologie
Klinkenberg, Jean-Marie; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

in Signata. Annales des Sémiotiques (2018), 9

Nous présentons dans cette contribution les cadres et objectifs d’une discipline que nous nommons "scripturologie". Cette discipline vise l’étude des différentes facettes de l’écriture, perçue dans sa ... [more ▼]

Nous présentons dans cette contribution les cadres et objectifs d’une discipline que nous nommons "scripturologie". Cette discipline vise l’étude des différentes facettes de l’écriture, perçue dans sa généralité, comme dispositif sémiotique articulant les faits langagiers et les faits spatiaux. La scripturologie se comprend donc comme une théorie générale devant permettre l’établissement d’une typologie sémiotique des écritures. Elle repose sur la reconnaissance du fait qu’un stimulus visuel unique peut être le support de plusieurs signifiants scripturaux, et que ces derniers sont eux-mêmes susceptibles de multiples formes de signification. La scripturologie se veut ainsi le prolongement et la systématisation d’options théoriques explorées par des pionniers comme Christin ou Harris. [less ▲]

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See detailThe functions and toposyntax of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Exploring the iconicity and spatiality of pictorial graphemes
Polis, Stéphane ULiege

in Signata. Annales des Sémiotiques (2018), 9

The goal of this paper is to provide a semiotically-informed description of the functions and syntax of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Section 1 provides background information about the hieroglyphic ... [more ▼]

The goal of this paper is to provide a semiotically-informed description of the functions and syntax of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Section 1 provides background information about the hieroglyphic writing system. The variety of functions fulfilled by its graphemes is discussed in Section 2, with a special attention to the relationships between graphemic and visual signs. In the next sections, the principles that underlie the syntagmatic organization of the hieroglyphs in monumental inscriptions are investigated, which includes both the spatial arrangements of the signs within a line (Section 3), and the orientations of the texts (Section 4). Based on this semiotic account, practical suggestions regarding the encoding of hieroglyphs in Unicode are made (Section 5). [less ▲]

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See detailO. IFAO OL 200 : Un exercice sur des formules épistolaires de la seconde moitié du règne de Ramsès III
Dorn, Andreas; Polis, Stéphane ULiege; Kamal, Faten

in Albert, Florence; Gasse, Annie (Eds.) CAHier I. Cahiers de la première académie hiératique (2018)

Publication d'un exercice épistolaire sur trois tessons de céramique jointifs. Le texte est intégralement rédigé à l’encre rouge, uniquement sur la face extérieure, et il présente la phraséologie standard ... [more ▼]

Publication d'un exercice épistolaire sur trois tessons de céramique jointifs. Le texte est intégralement rédigé à l’encre rouge, uniquement sur la face extérieure, et il présente la phraséologie standard afférente à cette pratique scribale. [less ▲]

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See detailLe scribe de la Tombe Amennakhte : Deux nouveaux documents remarquables dans le fonds de l’IFAO
Dorn, Andreas; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

in Annie, Gasse; Albert, Florence (Eds.) CAHier I. Cahiers de la première académie hiératique (2018)

Cet article est le second d’une série de contributions consacrées à la publication de sources inédites conservées à l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale ayant pour point commun d’être, plus ou ... [more ▼]

Cet article est le second d’une série de contributions consacrées à la publication de sources inédites conservées à l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale ayant pour point commun d’être, plus ou moins directement, liés au scribe de la Tombe Amennakhte (v), fils d’Ipouy (ii). Nous proposons en introduction une synthèse des recherches portant sur le scribe Amennakhte (v), depuis les premiers travaux sur ce personnage qui remontent à Spiegelberg, jusqu’aux études les plus récentes, en passant par sa mise en exergue dans les études de Černý, et essayons, dans le même temps, de dégager les pistes qui demeurent à explorer dans ce dossier. Nous présentons ensuite deux nouveaux documents : un entête de lettre sur papyrus adressée au chef du Trésor Montouemtaouy et un ostracon figuré de grande taille signé au verso. [less ▲]

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See detailThe semantic map model. State of the art and future avenues for linguistic research
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULiege; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

in Language and Linguistic Compass (2018)

The semantic map model is relatively new in linguistic research, but it has been intensively used during the past three decades for studying both cross-linguistic and language-specific questions. The goal ... [more ▼]

The semantic map model is relatively new in linguistic research, but it has been intensively used during the past three decades for studying both cross-linguistic and language-specific questions. The goal of the present contribution is to give a comprehensive overview of the model. After an introduction concerning the different types of semantic maps, we present the method used for plotting semantic maps and we discuss the different types of maps and their respective advantages, focusing on the kinds of linguistic generalizations captured. After an overview of the literature, we sketch future avenues for research in the field. [less ▲]

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See detailMethods, tools, and perspectives of hieratic palaeography
Polis, Stéphane ULiege

in Laboury, Dimitri; Davies, Vanessa (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Egyptian Epigraphy and Palaeography (2018)

This chapter introduces the hieratic script, namely the tachygraphy related to the Egyptian hieroglyphic script. It addresses two main questions. First, what are the tools available for studying hieratic ... [more ▼]

This chapter introduces the hieratic script, namely the tachygraphy related to the Egyptian hieroglyphic script. It addresses two main questions. First, what are the tools available for studying hieratic texts and what are the directions for future research regarding this script? Second, what are the fields of application of hieratic palaeography? From editing and publishing hieratic texts to dating compositions or recognizing individual scribes at work, hieratic palaeography is at the crossroads of many areas of research that are outlined in the final part of this chapter. [less ▲]

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See detailWeighted lexical semantic maps for areal lexical typology. Verbs of perception and cognition as a case study
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULiege; Grossman, Eitan; Polis, Stéphane ULiege et al

Conference (2017, December 14)

This paper aims to contribute to Distributional Typology, whose explicit aim is to investigate linguistic diversity directly (“what’s where why?”, Bickel 2007), by investigating the typology of (co ... [more ▼]

This paper aims to contribute to Distributional Typology, whose explicit aim is to investigate linguistic diversity directly (“what’s where why?”, Bickel 2007), by investigating the typology of (co-)lexicalization patterns using a bottom-up approach to semantic maps. Specifically, we propose a new method for constructing semantic maps on the basis of massive cross-linguistic data, in order to evaluate the effects of (i) inheritance, (ii) language contact, and (iii) other environmental and cultural factors on patterns of polysemy and co-lexicalization. This method allows a fine-grained analysis of the factors that lead to the effects identified by areal lexico-semantics (Koptjevskaja-Tamm & Liljegren, 2017). The semantic map model was initially created in order to describe the polysemy patterns of grammatical morphemes (see Cysouw, Haspelmath, & Malchukov, 2010 for an overview). Although studies using the model cover a wide range of linguistic phenomena, the majority pertained to the domain of grammar (e.g., Haspelmath, 1997; van der Auwera & Plungian, 1998). However, recent studies by François (2008), Perrin (2010), Wälchli and Cysouw (2012), Rakhilina and Reznikova (2016), Youn et al. (2016) and Georgakopoulos et al. (2016) have shown that the model can fruitfully be extended to lexical items. The common denominator in both lines of research is that the semantic maps were usually plotted manually, which, is particularly problematic for large-scale typological studies. In this paper, we show that existing synchronic polysemy data in large language samples, such as ASJP (Wichmann et al., 2016), CLICS (List et al., 2014), and the Open Multilingual Wordnet (Bond & Paik, 2012) can be turned into lexical matrices using Python scripts. From these lexical matrices, one can infer large-scale weighted classical lexical semantic maps, using an adapted version of the algorithm introduced by Regier, Khetarpal, and Majid (2013). This approach is innovative in several respects. First, lexical semantic maps are automatically plotted and inferred directly from a significant amount of cross-linguistic data (cf. Youn et al., 2016). Second, unlike other types of polysemy networks in the field, these maps are structured – respecting the connectivity hypothesis (Croft, 2001) and what we call the ‘economy principle’. As such, they generate more interesting implicational universals and can be falsified based on additional empirical evidence. Finally, weighted lexical semantic maps allow exploring the frequency of polysemy patterns and shared lexicalizations from both a semasiological and an onomasiological perspective, which is hardly achievable with other methods. We apply this method to a case study of verbs of perception and cognition (see Appendix for a provisional semantic map) and we enrich the result with additional cross-linguistic data (Zalziniak et al., 2012). The semantic map method allows one to visualize a structured cross-linguistic polysemy network, and to systematically analyze the types of mapping of lexical items onto this network. More specifically, the method allows one to differentiate between common polysemy patterns attested in unrelated languages and shared polysemy patterns, that is colexification patterns shared among languages in the same area. These results will be compared to (i) geographical and genetic data in order to determine the interaction between lexicalization patterns and areality, on the one hand, and common inheritance, on the other. Our findings will also be compared to (ii) proposed universal generalizations, in order to evaluate their validity and limits, and to (iii) proposed language/culture-specific associations identified in the literature (e.g., Viberg, 1984; Sweetser, 1990; Evans & Wilkins, 2000; Aikhenvald & Storch, 2013), in order to evaluate the degree to which the bottom-up method relying on large language samples matches the results of case-studies conducted by experts. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Turin Papyrus Map: New Insights About a Complex History
Dorn, Andreas; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Scientific conference (2017, December 06)

The so-called "Map of the gold mines" (P. Turin Cat. 1879) is among the most famous papyri of the Turin collection (and of ancient Egypt as a whole), but it has never been properly published, nor ... [more ▼]

The so-called "Map of the gold mines" (P. Turin Cat. 1879) is among the most famous papyri of the Turin collection (and of ancient Egypt as a whole), but it has never been properly published, nor systematically studied up until today. Most of the egyptological attention was indeed captured by the ‘map’ side (e.g., Goyon 1949; Harrell & Brown 1992), but the verso of the document, which contains many hieratic texts belonging to different genres, has not been examined thoroughly (exceptions are Janssen 1994 and Hovestreydt 1997 for col. 1-2 of frag. A, vo). As a prelude to a complete edition of this papyrus, the goal of this lecture is threefold. First, we provide an overview of history of this papyrus since its acquisition in 1824 (as part of the Drovetti collection), and we discuss various scholarly interpretations. In a second part, we focus on the map, discussing some unacknowledged iconic features as well as its topographical and geological significance. The third section of the talk is devoted to the texts found on the verso, to the relationship between these texts and the map, and to the identification of the hands and scribes who worked on this papyrus. We conclude with a discussion of the scribal practices — at Deir el-Medina and beyond — that led to the creation of such an exceptional document. [less ▲]

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See detailOverall borrowing and borrowing in basic vocabulary: A typological perspective on lexical change in Ancient Egyptian-Coptic
Grossman, Eitan; Polis, Stéphane ULiege

Conference (2017, September 11)

The notion of ‘basic vocabulary’ is associated with the name of Morris Swadesh, who proposed a list of 200 (and later 100) items. These lists, widely used in historical and comparative linguistics, were ... [more ▼]

The notion of ‘basic vocabulary’ is associated with the name of Morris Swadesh, who proposed a list of 200 (and later 100) items. These lists, widely used in historical and comparative linguistics, were based on intuition rather than on empirical research. More recently, however, the Leipzig Loanword Typology Project conducted a cross-linguistic survey of loanwords (Haspelmath & Tadmor 2009). One of the results is a 100-item list of basic vocabulary items — the ‘Leipzig-Jakarta list of basic vocabulary.’ This list is the product of four factors, computed for a database of 1440 meanings in 41 languages: borrowability, representation in the database, analyzability / simplicity, and age. As Tadmor (2009) states, this is the first list of basic vocabulary items based on extensive cross-linguistic comparison, and it constitutes a ‘full-fledged basic vocabulary’ that ‘comprises the notions normally associated with this concept: stability (our age score), universality (our representation score) and simplicity (our analyzability score), as well as resistance to borrowing (our unborrowed score)’ (2009: 68). In this talk, we examine this list of 100 meanings in order to evaluate the influence of Greek (Indo- European) on the basic vocabulary of Coptic (Afroasiatic), which shows massive lexical borrowing. First, Coptic data were collected from Crum (1939) for four dialects: Sahidic, Bohairic, Fayyumic, and Akhmimic. Additionally, a questionnaire was submitted to specialists in order to detect Greek loanwords that also lexicalized these meanings. Furthermore, we used etymological dictionaries (Černý 1976; Westendorf 1977; Vycichl 1983) in order to attribute an age score (from 0 = Greek loanword to 4 = Old Egyptian) to the lexemes at two levels: the formal level (when is the word first attested in Ancient Egyptian) and the semantic level (when is the meaning attested in Coptic first associated with this word). As a result of this study, we (1) evaluate the influence of Greek on the basic vocabulary of the main Coptic dialects, (2) describe the basic vocabulary of Coptic dialects independently and to observe how they differ from one another, (3) produce a first estimate of the rate of change in basic vocabularies over the course of Egyptian as a whole. Some of our main findings are as follows: 233 items lexicalize the 100 meanings. Of these, nearly half are attested already in the oldest Egyptian texts; a major peak in lexical replacement is around 1500 BCE, a time of considerable political and cultural upheaval in Egypt. Rates of lexical change do not always correspond to neat semantic categories: while body part terms were generally replaced, semantic categories like perception show heterogeneity (e.g., the verb ‘to hear’ remained throughout the entire history of Egyptian, while the verb ‘to see’ was replaced several times; similarly, ‘to come’ remained stable, while ‘to go’ was replaced several times). All in all, very few of the meanings on the Leipzig-Jakarta list are lexicalized by loanwords in Coptic, and no meanings show complete replacement of a native word by a loanword. This study has broader methodological implications. One is the clear distinction between (and possible independence of) overall lexical borrowing and borrowing of basic vocabulary: while Coptic borrowed an estimated 5000 lexical items (types), with a basic vocabulary borrowing score of 7.53, it is only a low-to-middle borrower in terms of basic vocabulary (cf. Fig. 1). The comparison of scores in overall borrowing vs. borrowing of basic vocabulary raises important questions about the types of socio-historical contact situations that lead to these different situations. [less ▲]

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