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A computer-aided study of the Luwian (morpho-)syntax

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SLUW (A computer-aided study of the Luwian (morpho-)syntax)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2017-05-31

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie funded project SLUW, “A computer-aided study of the Luwian (morpho)-syntax, is carried out at the University of Verona, Italy, from June 2015 to May 2017. It consists in a study of the syntax of the Luwian language, based on the phrase-structure annotation of a selection of sentences from the Luwian corpora (both cuneiform and hieroglyphic). Phrase structure annotation is based on a modified and adapted tagging system derived from the Penn Treebank tagset for the syntactic annotation of English, and it is aimed at providing a theory-free representation of the constituency structure of a significant part of the sentences attested in the Luwian corpus, to be employed for the development of a syntactic theory of the language. Luwian, (16th to 8th centuries BCE) is the second largest member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European (or Indo-Hittite) language family, and possibly one of the most archaic ones from several phonological, morphological and syntactic perspectives. In recent years, grammatical studies of the Anatolian languages have flourished, but they tended to be integrated in traditional grammatical frameworks. The project SLUW provides a first comprehensive syntactic assessment of an important language of the Ancient Anatolian group.
From the beginning of the project, the following work has been performed:
- Development of the syntactic tagset (months 1-3)
- Annotation of ca. 1400 sentences (months 4-13)
- Meeting with a statistician (training in use of quantitative data, as outlined in the DoA)
- Participation to conferences and workshops:
1. Tagung of the Indogermanische Gesellschaft “100 Jahre Entzifferung des Hethitischen Morphosyntaktische Kategorien in Sprachgeschichte und Forschung”, Marburg, University of Marburg, September 2015. Paper title (with Prof. Cotticelli Kurras): “Presentation of the Marie-Curie Project ‘SLUW’, A computer-aided study of the Luwian syntax and morphosyntax”;
2. Indo-European Summer School, Pavia, University of Pavia, September 2015 (I made a short presentation of the SLUW project at the poster session);
3. Italian Conference of Computational Linguistics (CLiC-IT), Trento, FBK, 3-4 December 2015. Paper title “Phrase structure and Ancient Anatolian languages”;
4. Conference at the Sodalizio Glottologico Milanese, Milano, February 2016 (Invited speaker; paper title “Formalismo sintattico e lingue anatoliche”);
5. Workshop “Indogeramnistisches Kolloquium”, Würzburg, 31 March and 1April 2016. Paper title “On Syntactic Formalism(s) and Ancient Indo-European Languages: the case of Anatolian”;
6. Workshop “L’Ittitologia in Italia: progetti e ricerche”, Roma, Sapenza University, 7 July 2016 (Invited speaker with Prof. Cotticelli Kurras; paper title “The Luwian (Morpho-)Syntax as a Computer-Aided Case Study”);
7. Workshop “Luwian Studies”, Zurich, 2 November 2016 (Invited speaker; paper title “Luwisch: Die Quellenlage”).
- Teaching of classes at the Host Instiution (training in teaching, as outlined in the proposal), including:
1. Hittite language;
2. General linguistics.
- Publication of the folliwing deliverables:
1. “Phrase Structure and Ancient Anatolian languages: Methodology and challenges for a Luwian syntactic annotation”, Article in the Proceedings of the 2nd Italian Conference of Computational Linguistics, CLiC-IT 2015, pp. 146-149.
2. “Remarks on Luwian”, in press for News from the Land of the Hittites 1, pp. 33-45, volume editor for contact: Prof. Marazzi Open Access will be granted upon publication.
3. [Accepted Manuscript, co-authored with P. Cotticelli-Kurras] Towards a study of the Luwian syntax, Article in press for the Proceedings of the Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Marburg, 21 September 2015.
4. The Position of Determiners in Ancient Greek and Luwian: between syntax and information flow, in press for “Folia Linguistica”. Appears in 2017, Open Access green will be granted after 12-month embargo from publication; contact: Prof. Cuyckens,
5. On Sumerian ku3 (.g)-an (a metal) and some allegedly derived words, in NABU 2017 (OA journal).
6. [co-authored with P. Cotticelli-Kurras] The European project SLUW: a short overview, in press for News from the Land of the Hittites 1, pp. 89-90, olume editor for contact: Prof. Marazzi Open Access will be granted upon publication.
- Organization of workshops (training in event-organization; as outlined in the proposal and discussed with the Project Officer).
The final monograph will be submitted to the German publisher Carl Winter for a peer-reviewed Open Access publication.
I have developed a new theory of the clause-structure of the Anatolian languages. I expect this to have a strong impact on the grammatical study of the Ancient Anatolian languages, as well as on the study of ancient and modern languages with an obligatory non-null left-peripheral topic-slot.
Screenshot SLUW
Federico Giusfredi