This project is a close linguistic study of the language in the Greek text of the New Testament as well as its translations into the old Indo-European languages Latin, Gothic, Armenian and Old Church Slavonic. PROIEL aims at describing and accounting for the so-called pragmatic resources of these languages, i.e. the resources that the grammar makes available for structuring information in a text, and eventually to compare the different systems from a typological and a genetic perspective.
In producing oral or written discourses, speakers/writers mark discourse referents (events, times, places and individuals that are spoken about) as old, new or contrastive information in order to make it easier for listeners/readers to keep track of them. Different languages provide different means to achieve this.
Focus is placed on word order, discourse particles, pronominal reference and the use of null pronouns, expressions of definiteness, and the use of participles to refer to background events.
In order to facilitate a full comparative study of these phenomena, PROIEL is creating a parallel corpus of the old Indo-European translations of the New Testament.