This week’s post was eaten!

Hi followers,

This week’s blog post was eaten by a hiccup in WordPress. Because it needs to be written from scratch, there will be no post this week. Sorry for the inconvenience!

We’re going to take this opportunity to start our summer hiatus a little earlier than usual. We’ll be back after Labor Day with more on scansion, coding, and more! In the meantime, check out the materials from our panel on public scholarship at the Classical Association of Canada annual meeting.

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Five tips for… exam season!

Final exams and paper grading are upon us. At this busy time, we know that you want distractions — but maybe not really long distractions. So here are our best tips for powering through the end of the semester as painlessly as possible!  Continue reading

Help with Latin texts: Introduction to scansion

Although we now approach ancient texts primarily through the written word, they were originally meant for performance. Poetry in particular was probably chanted or sung, as we know from the use of words relating to music in the opening lines of poems and poetic collections. Nowhere is this performance context more clear than in the use of meter in ancient poetry. Although the untrained viewer can’t see this meter in an ancient text (unlike, for example, the musical notation on modern sheet music), once you know how to scan well, you can quickly begin to recite texts as they were meant to be heard.

The nice thing about scansion is that it’s in many ways easier than other tasks beginning language students have to perform. In this first post, I’ll introduce the two major Latin meters: dactylic hexameter and pentameter.  Continue reading

Help with Research: Using Tesserae for intertextuality, part 4

In our previous posts, we’ve talked about what intertextuality means, how computers can help you locate it, the differences between intertextuality and discourse analysis, how Tesserae can help you with the latter in particular, and how to limit the number of results you get in a Tesserae search. In this post, we finish going through the advanced features and talk about Tesserae’s most innovative search type: sound analysis. Continue reading

Help with Research: Using Tesserae for intertextuality, Part 3

In our last Tesserae post, I promised an explanation of Tesserae’s advanced features. These are mostly aimed at limiting the number of hits an individual search will come up with, which is useful because all potential matches need to be checked. It’s much easier to check 100 matches than to check 600 or even 1600! But I also want to highlight two advanced features that really advance the way that we can computationally analyze Latin: by using similarity metrics for sound effects and by connecting words that are semantically similar. In this post, I will discuss the second of these; my last (but not the last!) Tesserae post will discuss sound effects. Continue reading

Help with Research: Using Tesserae for Intertextuality, Part 2

In this post, we pick up on our discussion of using the Tesserae project for intertextuality.  At the start, we want to acknowledge the generosity of Neil Coffee, the project lead. He was very quick to respond to our questions about best practices for the site and shared a forthcoming article on some of his results with silver Latin poetry. Thanks, Neil!

After reading through some of Tesserae’s research, we decided to expand on the topic of using digital tools for linguistic analysis. Tesserae was one of the first projects to attempt this in any language, and it’s an ongoing project — there are plans for further refinements to at least some of the tools, but probably not the interface as a whole.

Continue reading