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The Homeric Greek Compounds Project

17-mar-2017

The ‘Homeric Greek Compounds Project’ is a linguistic research project partially funded by the University of Palermo FFR-2012-ATE-0164 (2013-2015). The project aims at creating a free open-access online database containing the Homeric compounds found in the Iliad and the Odyssey. The research group is currently composed of people ranging from graduate to Ph.D. students, from post-doctoral researchers to associate professors, from the Department of Scienze Umanistiche of the University of Palermo and from the Department of Studi Letterari, Filologici e Linguistici of the University of Milano Statale. At present, the group is composed of the following people: A. Bartolotta (project coordinator), L. Aliffi, V. Amico, L. Coccia, A. Cuva; N. De Pasquale, M. Giuffrè, M. Longo, R. Melazzo, C. Nigrelli; F. Dedè, M. Cardella. The main purpose of this working group is to collect and analyze all the compounded Nouns and Adjectives occurring in the Homeric poems, in order to share and make linguistic data re-usable and available to the scientific community. The ultimate goal of this project is to reconstruct, as far as possible, the unifying criteria that are at the basis of the process of composition in archaic Greek. In fact, both definitions and classifications of compounds are still a debated issue in the linguistic literature. Research into the explanation of this complex linguistic phenomenon must be integrated by not only making cross-linguistic comparisons, but also considering the diachronic perspective. Thus, an interdisciplinary perspective is needed, that gives value to the historical-comparative dimension as well. By virtue of the conservative nature that characterizes compound forms, the diachronic development and prehistory of compounds in the oldest Indo-European languages reveals valuable information about the syntactic structure of the IE proto-language. In particular, although Ancient Greek composition has been dealt with since the beginning of the XXth century, there is still no reference database that gathers and describes all the compounds attested in Homeric Greek, a language that, along with Sanskrit, is the basis and the starting point for the reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language. Hence, the idea of a database containing a description of morphological, syntactic, semantic and lexical features, and etymological interpretation of each compounded word in the Iliad and Odyssey. The database contains more than 1500 entries, which are arranged alphabetically from Α to Ω. The database encodes information about the syntactic category of the compound and its morphosyntactic structure, including its part of speech and the lexical category of both first and second members (categorization). The linguistic description also contains the compound meaning and the features that have been considered relevant, i.e. its etymology, each word occurrence and the corresponding inflectional information, including case and number, the headedness (endocentric vs exocentric), the classification of each compound (subordinate, determinative attributive, coordinate). When necessary, some specific notes are added about linking elements (i.e. those functional structures that serve to link the two members of compound, and which can find expression in specific inflectional endings of the non-head member within the complex word), case forms of the first/second member, other morphological or semantic useful information. The database website will be available free on the Department page

http://homeric-compounds.scienzeumanistiche.eu/