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See detailTowards a web-based platform for plotting, visualizing and enriching diachronic semantic maps: With a case study on the Greek and Egyptian temporal semantic field
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Polis, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2017, September 09)

Semantic maps aim at detecting cross-linguistic regularities and recurrent patterns in semantic structure (Haspelmath 2003). This method was initially applied to the grammatical domain, mostly in a ... [more ▼]

Semantic maps aim at detecting cross-linguistic regularities and recurrent patterns in semantic structure (Haspelmath 2003). This method was initially applied to the grammatical domain, mostly in a synchronic perspective (with some exceptions, see, e.g., van der Auwera & Plungian 1998). Recent research, however, has drawn attention to the lexical domain, showing that the model can also include lexical semantics (see, e.g., François 2008). Intimately related to the semantic map method has been the issue of finding appropriate ways of creating those maps and of capturing visually the semantic regularities. Up until recently, the maps were plotted and drawn manually. However, Regier et al. (2013) showed that a good approximation algorithm exists for inferring semantic maps based on polysemy data. Elaborating on their method, this paper aims to demonstrate that information about the directionality and the weight of the edges can be automatically added, thereby providing valuable information regarding the paths of semantic extensions and their frequency. In order to illustrate the method, we take the example of the semantic extension of time-related lexemes (e.g. TIME, HOUR, SEASON, DAY) in Ancient Greek (8th – 1st c. BC) and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic (26th c. BC – 10th c. AD). Both languages give access to significant diachronic material, allowing us to trace long term processes of semantic change. The results of our diachronic investigations are then checked against databases giving information on synchronic polysemies (e.g., List et al. 2014). In doing so, we also assess the adequacy of the use of polysemy as a tool to investigate semantic change. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamicized semantic maps of content words. Comparing long-term lexical changes in Ancient Egyptian and Greek
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Polis, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2017, July 31)

This paper aims at demonstrating how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into semantic maps. For this purpose, particular changes that affected ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at demonstrating how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into semantic maps. For this purpose, particular changes that affected the meanings of words in the course of the Ancient Egyptian and of the Ancient Greek language history are investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailMapping the diachrony of content words: Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian as sources for diachronic semantic maps of lexical items
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Polis, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2017, July 12)

This paper aims at demonstrating how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into semantic maps. For this purpose, particular changes that affected ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at demonstrating how information on the paths of semantic extensions undergone by content words may be incorporated into semantic maps. For this purpose, particular changes that affected the meanings of words in the course of the Ancient Greek and of the Ancient Egyptian language history will be investigated. The semantic map model was initially created in order to describe the polysemic patterns of grammatical morphemes (e.g. Haspelmath, 2003). However, recent studies by François (2008), Perrin (2010), Wälchli and Cysouw (2012), and Georgakopoulos et al. (2016) have drawn attention to the lexical domain, showing that the model can be extended to lexical items. It should be noted that the bulk of research has been adopting a synchronic perspective and the limited research that has added the diachronic dimension, has focused mostly on the grammatical domain (e.g. Narrog, 2010). In this paper, we analyze the diachronic evolution of the polysemy network of lexemes in order to produce ‘dynamicised semantic maps’ (Narrog & van der Auwera, 2011) of lexical items. More specifically, we study concepts from the semantic domains of TIME. The data are extracted from dictio-naries, grammars, and the Perseus digital library (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/) for Ancient Greek, and from the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae (http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/), the Ramses corpus (http://ramses.ulg.ac.be), and etymological dictionaries for Ancient Egyptian. Information on synchronic lexical associations are extracted from CLICS (List et al., 2014), an online database containing tendencies of meaning associations. In CLICS, concepts are represented as nodes in the network and instances of polysemy are visualized as links between the nodes. The diachronic dimension of meaning extension may be added to such a network (Figure 1). On the basis of a diachronic analysis of TIME in Ancient Greek (lexical unit: hṓra), which reveals that the meaning ‘time’ is historically prior to the meaning ‘hour,’ we may add a directed arrow representing directionality of change. However, historical priority is not a sufficient criterion for an arrow to be added. Rather, one should be able to show that meaning extensions have a clear motivation.As such, we suggest identifying the cognitive (e.g. metaphor, metonymy, etc.) and the cultural factors that lie behind the observed evolutions. For example, in the case of the Greek concept TIME, one could establish a metonymic motivation between TIME and HOUR, which arises due to the correlation between the canonical time periods and the time these take to unfold. The present study will provide answers to the question of the directionality of change in two particular languages, namely Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian. However, our expectation is that by looking at diachrony in this fashion, significant dimensions of directionality of change with cross-linguistic extensions can be revealed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe diachrony of polysemy networks. Cognitive and cultural motivations for the semantic extension of time-related lexemes in Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Polis, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2017, June 02)

This paper aims at contrasting the semantic extension of time-related lexemes in Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic in order to identify shared cognitive motivations and to assess the potential ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at contrasting the semantic extension of time-related lexemes in Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian – Coptic in order to identify shared cognitive motivations and to assess the potential impact of cultural factors on the evolution of this lexical field in both languages. In doing so we first take as a point of departure semantic networks inferred from synchronic polysemy data in large language samples, such as Youn et al. (2016) and CLICS (List et al., 2014). In a second step, we identify the lexemes that lexicalize meanings associated with DAY/DAYTIME/TIME in Ancient Greek (8th – 1st c. BC) and Ancient Egyptian (26th c. BC – 10th c. AD), two languages with significant diachronic material. The data are extracted from dictionaries, grammars, and from the Perseus digital library (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/) for Ancient Greek, and from the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae (http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/), the Ramses corpus (http://ramses.ulg.ac.be), and Coptic etymological dictionaries for Ancient Egyptian. Based on this diachronic material we describe the semantic extensions of time-related lexemes and map them onto the synchronic polysemy networks. In a final step, our results are checked against The Catalogue of Semantic Shifts in the Languages of the World (http://semshifts.iling-ran.ru/). Fig. 1 exemplifies how meaning extension may be added to polysemy networks. A diachronic analysis reveals that, for the Ancient Greek lexical unit hṓra, the meaning ‘time’ is historically prior to the meaning ‘hour.’ Accordingly, we may add a directed arrow representing the directionality of change from ‘time’ to ‘hour.’ Similarly, Ancient Egyptian data points to an extension of the polysemy network of the lexical unit tr – originally meaning ‘time,’ ‘moment in time’ – to ‘season’ (cf. Coptic ⲧⲏ tê ‘time, season’). One can then describe the cognitive motivations (e.g., metaphor, metonymy, etc.) for meaning extensions and analyze the cultural factors underlying the observed evolutions. In the case of the Greek word hṓra, for instance, a metonymic motivation between TIME and HOUR could be established. Finally, the analysis can be refined by searching in the corpus bridging contexts that allow such extensions of the polysemy networks of content items. The approach adopted here is closely connected to the semantic map method, which has recently shifted its focus from the study of the polysemic patterns of grammatical morphemes (in this respect, see, e.g., Haspelmath, 2003) to the study of lexical items (e.g., François, 2008, Perrin, 2010, Wälchli and Cysouw 2012, and Georgakopoulos et al., 2016). As such, our paper has also a methodological bearing on the semantic map model, both because of its focus on content words and on diachrony (see van der Auwera, 2008; Narrog, 2010; Luraghi, 2014; Juvonen and Koptjevskaja-Tamm, 2016). All things considered, this diachronic take on the polysemic networks of lexemes belonging to a particular semantic domain offers a new perspective on dealing with the question of the directionality of meaning change. [less ▲]

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See detailLe Diasema. Lexical Diachronic semantic maps: Representing and explaining meaning extension. A short introduction to the project
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Polis, Stéphane ULg

Scientific conference (2017, March 10)

An introduction to the main aspects of the project 'Le Diasema: Lexical Diachronic semantic maps. Representing and explaining meaning extension'.

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See detailA diachronic take on the Source–Goal asymmetry: evidence from inner Asia Minor Greek
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Karatsareas, Petros

in Luraghi, Silvia; Nikitina, Tatiana; Zanchi, Chiara (Eds.) Space in Diachrony (2017)

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See detailFraming the difference between sources and goals in Change of Possession events
Georgakopoulos, Athanasios ULg; Sioupi, Athina

in Yearbook of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association (2015), 3

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