Andrea Farina (KCL) - 2022-23 Students

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?

Primary supervisor: Dr Barbara McGillivray, KCL
Secondary supervisor: Dr Stephen Colvin, UCL

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