Digital edition: detecting syntactic re-uses

Text re-use works not only at a word level, but also at a syntactic one, because reusing a text means not only quoting and readapting words in a new context, but also reproducing syntactic features. Treebank grammar techniques are used to annotate the syntactic structure of a sentence and produce a formal representation of it.

The following example shows the syntactic tree of a quotation of a lost text of Istros (Berti F 12) by Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 3.6 = 3.74e, annotated according to the guidelines for the Perseus Ancient Greek Dependency Treebank:

Ἴστρος δ' ἐν τοῖς Ἀττικοῖς οὐδ' ἐξάγεσθαί φησι τῆς Ἀττικῆς τὰς ἀπ' αὐτῶν γινομένας ἰσχάδας, ἵνα μόνοι ἀπολαύοιεν οἱ κατοικοῦντες ... (And Istros in the Attika says that it was even forbidden to export figs produced in Attica, in order that the residents alone might enjoy them ...)

(Please use Firefox for a correct visualization of the syntactic trees produced with the Alpheios Treebank Editor)


















When the original text of a quotation is preserved, it is possible to compare the syntactic structure of both the original text and its re-use. In this example we have the syntactic trees of Homerus, Odyssea 21.293-294 and of a sentence of Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae 1.17 = 1.10a where the verses of Homer are paraphrased:

Homerus, Odyssea 21.293-294οἶνός σε τρώει μελιηδής, ὅς τε καὶ ἄλλους / βλάπτει, ὃς ἄν μιν χανδὸν ἕλῃ μηδ' αἴσιμα πίνῃ (It is wine that wounds thee, honey-sweet wine, which works harm to others too, if one takes it in great gulps, and drink beyond measure)

Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 1.17 = 1.10cοἶδε δὲ ὁ Ὅμηρος καὶ τὸ ὠφέλιμον καὶ τὸ σύμμετρον τοῦ οἴνου ἐν οἷς τὸν χανδὸν ἕλκοντα αὐτὸν βλάπτεσθαι φησί (Still, Homer recognizes the usefulness of wine in moderation when he says that he who quaffs too eagerly injures himself)