Tradition and innovation in the edition process: a method based on Domain Specific Languages

In-house seminar

For centuries textual scholars have refined the methods to represent the relevant aspects (codicological, paleographic, philological etc.) of the reconstruction, interpretation and fruition of texts. Consequently, the specific languages adopted by scholars to represent the objects of their studies evolved, improving both in precision and conciseness and becoming a precious synthesis of centuries of knowledge in specific domains. On the other hand, it is surprising that in the digital age the collective effort of scholars to optimize the representation and transmission of their domain-specific knowledge has been penalized and the solutions adopted (e.g. XML encoding and Graphical User Interfaces) are verbose or far from their habitual practices. During the seminar we will describe a methodology based on Domain Specific Languages for digital scientific editions that allows to preserve these standards and to enrich the text edition process with computational functionalities such as multimodal search strategies, classification and prediction of philological phenomena, consistency checks of editorial conventions and errors, analysis and recall of information inferred from the context or from external sources (e.g. vocabularies and corpora) using machine learning algorithms etc. Finally, we will show the application of this methodology to the edition of Philodemus’ Arrangement of the Philosophers within the context of the digital papyrology project “GreekSchools” (H2020-ERC-ADG no. 885222).

Speaker(s): Simone Zenzaro

He is a fixed-term researcher at the Institute for Computational Linguistics “A. Zampolli” of the National Research Council of Italy. He received his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Pisa with a thesis on modularity aspects in formal methods, in particular in relation to Abstract State Machines. He is currently working within the digital papyrology project “GreekSchools” (H2020-ERC-ADG no. 885222) on methods for the recovery of incomplete ancient Greek texts and tools to support the collaborative and cooperative edition of Philodemus’ Arrangement of the Philosophers (Syntaxis). He worked at the University of Lausanne on the digital edition of the Byzantine manuscript of the Iliad Genvensis græcus 44 within the project “Le devenir numérique d’un texte fondateur”. He worked at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa for the creation of tools for the digital edition of Arabic manuscripts within the project “Philosophy on the Border of Civilizations and Intellectual Endeavors” (FP7-IDEAS-ERC no. 339621). His interests concern the application of formal methods to Digital Humanities through the definition of models, services and tools for the domain of Philology.