Seminar in Computational Linguistics
- Date: 9/15/2017 at 1:15 PM – 3:00 PM
- Location: Engelska parken
- Lecturer: Michelle Waldispühl
- Contact person: Ali Basirat
Language internal and external factors for spelling variation in historical writing
In this presentation, I address spelling principles in historical writing. In contrast to modern standard languages, most of the languages in earlier periods (as well as modern dialects) lack an explicit spelling norm. That is why spelling variation is one of the crucial characteristics of historical writing. A range of different variants of the same word in the same text written by the same scribe, such as the six forms kumt, kumpt, cumpt, chúmt, chúmpt, chimpt for ‘he/she/it comes’ in a medieval German text, is the normal case rather than the exception. In earlier historical linguistic research, such variation was often anachronistically classified as “mistakes”, “inconsistencies in the representation of speech”, etc. More recent research in the field of historical graphemics, however, aims at examining historical writing systematically and finding explanatory variables and factors for both spelling variability and stability. By means of other studies on earlier periods of German and English as well as my own study on Scandinavian personal names, I will give an overview on both language internal and external factors for historical spelling variation and discuss the significance of single factors for different cases.