The differences in Ancient Greek and Latin motion verbs as a way to understand the conceptualisation of reality in the two cultures
This project aims at creating PrevNet, a new digital resource on prefixed verbs of motion in Latin and Ancient Greek. PrevNetwill contain detailed linguistic information on verbs and their usage in the texts. In a comparative perspective, I will analyse differences in the linguistic properties of the verbs between Latin and Ancient Greek and connect them to deepen our understanding of the two cultures. I will consider the historical period included between the 8th century BCE and the 8th century AD, approximately.Preverbs are prepositions or adverbs which attach onto a verbal base, preceding it. When a verbal base possesses a preverb, it becomes a preverbed verb. For instance, the English circum-navigateis a preverbed verb, composed of the verbal base navigateand the preverbcircum-, which comes from Latin circum-‘around’. Verbs of motion are devoted to the description of motion events. I will consider Latin verbal bases such as eo, gradior‘go’, venio‘come’, navigo‘sail’, volo‘fly’, and Ancient Greek counterparts such as eîmi, baínō‘go’, érkhomai‘come’, pléō‘sail’, pétomai‘fly’. I will analyse different areas of motion (e.g. motion on land, motion on water, motion in the sky).
The creation of PrevNetwill allow me to answer the following research questions across three disciplinary fields:1.historical linguistics: how is the semantics of Ancient Greek and Latin preverbed motion verbs affected by their preverbs? How do other characteristics –aspect/actionality and spatial rela-tions –interact with syntactic structures and semantics, and how does this change over time?2.digitalhumanities: what methodological framework is most suitable to create PrevNet, so that it combines quantitative information from corpus data and can be extended in the future?3.cultural history: what differences occur between Ancient Greek and Latin preverbed motion verbs? What do they reveal about the contact between the Greek-speaking and the Latin-speak-ing communities in the ancient Mediterranean area?