Sven Sellmer


The Vedic corpus as a graph. An updated version of Bloomfields Vedic Concordance
Oliver Hellwig | Sven Sellmer | Kyoko Amano
Proceedings of the Computational Sanskrit & Digital Humanities: Selected papers presented at the 18th World Sanskrit Conference

Hedging in diachrony: the case of Vedic Sanskrit iva
Erica Biagetti | Oliver Hellwig | Sven Sellmer
Proceedings of the 21st International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories (TLT, GURT/SyntaxFest 2023)

The rhetoric strategy of hedging serves to attenuate speech acts and their semantic content, as in English ‘kind of’ or ‘somehow’. While hedging has recently met with increasing interest in linguistic research, most studies deal with modern languages, preferably English, and take a synchronic approach. This paper complements this research by tracing the diachronic syntactic flexibilization of the Vedic Sanskrit particle iva from a marker of comparison (‘like’) to a full-fledged adaptor. We discuss the outcomes of a diachronic Bayesian framework applied to iva constructions in a Universal Dependencies treebank, and supplement these results with a qualitative discussion of relevant text passages.


pdf bib
Detecting Diachronic Syntactic Developments in Presence of Bias Terms
Oliver Hellwig | Sven Sellmer
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Language Technologies for Historical and Ancient Languages

Corpus-based studies of diachronic syntactic changes are typically guided by the results of previous qualitative research. When such results are missing or, as is the case for Vedic Sanskrit, are restricted to small parts of a transmitted corpus, an exploratory framework that detects such changes in a data-driven fashion can substantially support the research process. In this paper, we introduce a customized version of the infinite relational model that groups syntactic constituents based on their structural similarities and their diachronic distributions. We propose a simple way to control for register and intellectual affiliation, and discuss our findings for four syntactic structures in Vedic texts.