Toon Van Hal


In Search of the Flocks: How to Perform Onomasiological Queries in an Ancient Greek Corpus?
Alek Keersmaekers | Toon Van Hal
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Language Technologies for Historical and Ancient Languages

This paper explores the possibilities of onomasiologically querying corpus data of Ancient Greek. The significance of the onomasiological approach has been highlighted in recent studies, yet the possibilities of performing ‘word-finding’ investigations into corpus data have not been dealt with in depth. The case study chosen focuses on collective nouns denoting animate groups (such as flocks of people, herds of cattle). By relying on a large automatically annotated corpus of Ancient Greek and on token-based vector information, a longlist of collective nouns was compiled through morpho-syntactic extraction and successive clustering procedures. After reducing this longlist to a shortlist, the results obtained are evaluated. In general, we find that πλῆθος can be considered to be the default collective noun of both humans and animals, becoming especially prominent during the Hellenistic period. In addition, specific tendencies in the use of collective nouns are discerned for specific semantic classes (e.g. gods and insects) and over time. Throughout the paper, special attention is paid to methodological issues related to onomasiologically searching.


Creating, Enriching and Valorizing Treebanks of Ancient Greek
Alek Keersmaekers | Wouter Mercelis | Colin Swaelens | Toon Van Hal
Proceedings of the 18th International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories (TLT, SyntaxFest 2019)