Stopwords for Greek and Latin

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Status quaestionis

stop word, n. A very common word that is generally uninteresting to search for (a XTF Definition).

If you are not a linguist with a special interest in words like Latin "cum" or Greek "kai", or if you have a large collection of Greek or Latin texts and want to make searches in these collection more efficient, or if you have to prepare an index to such a collection (probably based on automatic concordances), it is useful to have a list of stop words handy.

Of course, such "uninteresting" words will not be excluded from your search results (thanks to the so called "bigramming", cf. XTF Definition). Also, you can have both, providing to users of your collections searches with filtered stop words and without such filter (as it is done in Perseus under PhiloLogic).

However, at the moment there are no stop word lists freely available for Greek or Latin; it seems that people compile them when they need them (and if they have the time), thereby doing the same all over again, instead of possibly improving on what others already did.

The stop words (apparently) used by Perseus are (see reading/src/perseus/language/analyzers/greek/ and reading/src/perseus/language/analyzers/latin/ in the source):

  • Greek (Beta Code): mh/, e(autou=, a)/n, a)ll', a)lla/, a)/llos, a)po/, a)/ra, au)to/s, d', de/, dh/, dia/, dai/, dai/s, e)/ti, e)gw/, e)k, e)mo/s, e)n, e)pi/, ei), ei)mi/,ei)/mi, ei)s, ga/r, ge, ga^, h(, h)/, kai/, kata/,me/n, meta/, mh/, o(, o(/de, o(/s, o(/stis, o(/ti,ou(/tws, ou(=tos, ou)/te, ou)=n, ou)dei/s, oi(, ou),ou)de/, ou)k, peri/, pro/s, su/, su/n, ta/, te, th/n,th=s, th=|, ti, ti/, tis, ti/s, to/, toi/, toiou=tos,to/n, tou/s, tou=, tw=n, tw=|, u(mo/s, u(pe/r, u(po/,w(s, w)=, w(/ste, e)a/n, para/, so/s
  • Greek (converted to Unicode): μή, ἑαυτοῦ, ἄν, ἀλλ’, ἀλλά, ἄλλοσ, ἀπό, ἄρα, αὐτόσ, δ’, δέ, δή, διά, δαί, δαίσ, ἔτι, ἐγώ, ἐκ, ἐμόσ, ἐν, ἐπί, εἰ, εἰμί, εἴμι, εἰσ, γάρ, γε, γα^, ἡ, ἤ, καί, κατά, μέν, μετά, μή, ὁ, ὅδε, ὅσ, ὅστισ, ὅτι, οὕτωσ, οὗτοσ, οὔτε, οὖν, οὐδείσ, οἱ, οὐ, οὐδέ, οὐκ, περί, πρόσ, σύ, σύν, τά, τε, τήν, τῆσ, τῇ, τι, τί, τισ, τίσ, τό, τοί, τοιοῦτοσ, τόν, τούσ, τοῦ, τῶν, τῷ, ὑμόσ, ὑπέρ, ὑπό, ὡσ, ὦ, ὥστε, ἐάν, παρά, σόσ
  • Latin: ab, ac, ad, adhic, aliqui, aliquis, an, ante, apud, at, atque, aut, autem, cum, cur, de, deinde, dum, ego, enim, ergo, es, est, et, etiam, etsi, ex, fio, haud, hic, iam, idem, igitur, ille, in, infra, inter, interim, ipse, is, ita, magis, modo, mox, nam, ne, nec, necque, neque, nisi, non, nos, o, ob, per, possum, post, pro, quae, quam, quare, qui, quia, quicumque, quidem, quilibet, quis, quisnam, quisquam, quisque, quisquis, quo, quoniam, sed, si, sic, sive, sub, sui, sum, super, suus, tam, tamen, trans, tu, tum, ubi, uel, uero

N.B. Word frequencies could be distributed differently in your corpus. One approach may be to run a Lucene index on your corpus with no stop words first, then use Luke to get the top n terms for your corpus and filter that result depending on what kind of stop word behavior you want.


The tag LatinWordStopList on bibsonomy provides a working bibliography of bookmarks and publications on word frequency in Latin.