Diachronic Interactive Lexicon of Greek

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  • Γρηγόριος Παπαγιάννης


DialG is a Diachronic Greek Dictionary, which will takes into account (with ultimate goal to integrate) all previous scientific dictionaries (for the ancient, medieval and modern Greek). It has the form of a database, which will be continuously updated.

The Diachronic Interactive Lexicon of Greek contains all the entries of the dictionaries and provide them meanings (seasonally), referring primarily to quotations and other details in the dictionary (or dictionaries) which is the source of Information-importance. The same will be done with different types of a word (eg. verb types) or how to write when it is diverse, with references back-references to the "dictionaries-sources." The dictionary is open to additions or new entries or additional information (types, meanings and pensions), which are not mentioned in sub-dictionaries sources DialG. These additions come either from the team or from users' suggestions. The new data will be incorporated to the Dictionary at regular intervals, following a review by the editorial team. So we will have in the future a key tool for the Greek texts of all time. As it is widely known, the compilation of a lexicon of Greek is actually an endless project. Almost in every byzantine text (or text of the late antiquity), even among those already critically edited, words remain to be discovered; that is words which either have not got registered at all yet, they have an unregistered meaning, they appear in a new form or within a new construction. It is also well known that every index verborum or index graecitatis supplies new lexicographical material, and such material is also to be found in numerous minor or major publications. Besides, many isolated lexicographical observations remain unpublished, therefore unknown. Collecting such information systematically may in the best case, and only after a long time, lead to the compilation of a new Volume supplementary to the existing Lexica. This is is not exactly useless, but rather very inconvenient for the user. Even worse, this new Volume itself is bound to be “old” and obsolete from the very first moment of its publication. The vanity of such an effort could be observed in the case of the Supplement of the LSJ: After the user has read for example the entry ἀβόλλα in LSJ (where only one instance of the word is given), he/she is encountered in the Supplement with the statement: “delete the article”. Even more, this also proves to be false by means of new evidence: According to TLG ἀβόλλα does occur, and more than once. Additionally, allow me to remind you, that also all the Lexica Sophocles, Lampe, and Trapp (from now on LBG) are in fact supplementary to LSJ. Furthermore, the Greek translation of LSJ (: from now on LSK) is not only a translation but an enrichment too, and it has its own supplement (not identical to the English one!). Similarly, Demetrakos copies LSK for the ancient Greek, but offers additionally new material concerning medieval and late and, of course, modern Greek. Last but not least, the old Thesaurus Graecae Linguae (from the 16th. century) is still not completely replaced, that is, it offers material, which has not been thoroughly incorporated in the modern Lexica). An example will be given in due course. These are the Lexica usually consulted when reading a byzantine text. It goes without telling that all these Lexica need to get updated from time to time! This situation, in fact the idea of updating, has led us to the concept of a web-lexicon of Greek, which will comprise all the existing lexicographical information and will be able to get continuously enriched and corrected, in other words, updated. The DIAL-G will also be interactive; this means, it will be possible for anyone to suggest new material or corrections or supplementary notes, which, after being supervised, might be incorporated, in fact uploaded. This implies that it will be offered to all readers, and still retain the name of the first one to make the suggestion. Let us now present how it works with the help of some examples: Τhe word ἐθνεσιφόντης (used only once in Th. Prodr. carm. hist. 42 vers 21) is not registered, even in LBG, so it will be displayed only in DIAL-G: ἐθνεσιφόντης, ὁ only: Th. Prodr. Hist. Ged. XLII 21, slayer of the enemies/not Christian people

A word like παραεθλεύω (to be found only in LBG, as it seems to have been used only in Th. Prodr. carm. hist. 38, 96) must be apparently corrected, that is written separately (πάρ’ ἀεθλεύω), and thus “deleted” from the Lexica. (In DIAL-G this remark will be certainly mentioned).

μεγάλαθλος (which occurs in Th. Prodr. 4 times, with two different meanings/uses: a) for the person who accomplishes a remarkable achievement, b) for the remarkable achievement itself), can be found in three Lexica: Demetrakos, LSK and LBG. More specifically, in Demetrakos only one meaning is given; in LSK it will be only incidentally found, because it is wrongly located (before μεγαλάδικος); in LBG only 2 references of Th. Prodr. are given, coupled with the meaning which suits the other two examples which, however, are missing. Nevertheless, DIAL-G provides the user with these remarks, and, even more so, with the additional meaning and the rest of the instances of this unfamiliar word. Νow, new adjective-forms, especially comparatives / superlatives, for example ἀνικητότερος, ἀστεγέστερος, θρασυκαρδιώτατος etc. or adverbs (like: μεγαλουργῶς) or female forms: ἀμφιβίη, κτηνοβίη, μεροπείη, Ῥωμαΐη, ὠκεανείη etc., are to be found only in DIAL-G. The same applies to words which are accentuated or spelled in a new way, either for the sake of the metre or for other reason: ἄθλος, ἄτος, λάες, μεσίτις, μύθος (all with an acute), πατρογεννής, (with double ν), καλίγομφος (with only one λ) etc. Also: Verbs used in a new construction, such as: ἐάω + infinitive: stop / give up doing sth and (in the same meaning, also a new usage) λείπω + infinitive. Finally, an example of a remark concerning an addition to LSJ: Under the entry πόλις, one does not find the form πολήων (gen. plural) among the forms given in LSJ, LSK and Demetrakos (they all give only πολίων), although the missing form (πολήων) had been widely used in the Antiquity; however, it is mentioned (only) in ThGL. Αfter what has just been discussed, I hope the value of the DIAL-G is more than obvious: Εveryone will have on their desk (or mobile) every Lexicon available at one click, each one next to the other. Every entry, or better: “everything”, is going to be electronically detectable. DIAL-G can also be used as a place for publication of lexicographical observations or can incorporate such information and refer to the original publication. Practically, there is going to be a small “site” for each Greek word, and all these sites will be connected with each other. Interestingly, the process of each word will not depend on the progress of the compilers of the Lexicon and whether they have reached the specific letter or not. Such an ambitious idea could not and will not be accomplished by one or two people. For this reason we have set up a team at the Department of Greek in Thrace, consisting of professors, postgraduates and undergraduates. Certainly, we are open to advice, suggestions etc. We also need to get the permission of several publishers in order to upload all the material. Recently we have been digitalising the Sophocles Lexicon and, in parallel, compiling a comprehensive list of lemmata, based on all the Lexica mentioned.

The database contains 1,600,977 entries of the Greek Language (as at 2016-11-14). Contact: dialg.lexico@gmail.com