Work and aims of the DDGLC project

The project Database and Dictionary of Greek Loanwords in Coptic (DDGLC) has been hosted by the Egyptological Institute -Georg Steindorff- of the University of Leipzig since April 2010, when it began its pilot phase, funded by the Saxonian State Ministery of Sciences and Art. Since November 2012, it has been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as a long-term project with a projected lifespan ranging through 2024. The DDGLC project seeks to produce a systematic, comprehensive and detailed lexi­cographical compilation and description of Greek loanwords as attested in the entire Coptic corpus throughout all dialects and genres of text. The results of the project shall be made available in an online database and in a printed dictionary. The core tool of the DDGLC project is a relational database designed to connect linguistic and extra-linguistic data con­cerning types and tokens of all identifiable loanwords in Coptic. The database combines and will reveal the relationships between multiple levels of data: At its foundational level, the database records every single instance of a foreign word used in a Coptic source (i.e. token usage). Each individual attestation will provide the loanword's individual spelling, its full textual context, an English translation, and an encoding to describe its significant grammatical characteristics. At the next level, all data from the attestation level will be grouped according to their "type", forming lists of sublemmata and lemmata, as one would see them in a dictionary. Above all this stands a meta-linguistic level, which categorizes the data according to their textual and manuscript source, as well as the dialect, region and date in which it was written. The DDGLC project will document and present 1,500 years of contact-induced language change of the Egyptian-Coptic language to linguists, philologists and historians for further study.

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