Visualisation of semantic shifts: the case of modal markers

Helena Bermúdez Sabel, Francesca Dell’Oro, Paola Marongiu

Swiss National Science Foundation – University of Lausanne

Outline

  1. Rationale
  2. State of the art
  3. New functionalities in a nutshell
  4. An example: semantic map of CERTUS
  5. To know more
  6. Bibliographic references

1. Rationale

A visual representation can replace complex cognitive calculations, presenting data in a more accessible and attractive manner. However, selecting the most efficient visualization can be challenging, especially when dealing with abstract concepts. The importance of an efficient visualization in our case arises from:

Need for condensation

Can a visualization summarize pages and pages of dictionaries and historical grammars?

Need for simplicity

How do we add more information to previous models to better convey the multidimensionality of modal semantic shifts?

Need for legibility

Can we update the traditional visualization models by incorporating animation, color and user interactivity?

2. State of the art

The semantic map visualisation method was defined by Haspelmath (2003) as the geometric representation of functions connected together in semantic space. The goal of the semantic maps is to describe and illustrate the multifunctionality patterns of linguistic elements (Haspelmath 2003: 213). Semantic maps were employed in various ways, cross-linguistically or on individual languages, and synchronically or diachronically. To name a few, see:

Van der Auwera and Plungian (1998) apply this resource to visually represent and predict universal patterns of modalisation. They build on the single patterns of modalisation for possibility and necessity of the cross-linguistic study by Bybee et al. (1994), complementing them with lexical information from other languages. An overview of the modalisation and grammaticalisation paths is achieved by including pre- and post-modal meanings.

Our proposal follows this model but our aim is to produce a digital visualisation with additional features.

Fig. 1. “To possibility and beyond” (van der Auwera and Plungian 1998: 91).
Fig. 2. “Unifying the possibility and necessity paths”: Example of a semantic map representing the shifts of possibility and necessity (van der Auwera and Plungian 1998: 98).

3. New functionalities in a nutshell

Fig. 3. Screenshot of the semantic map of POTESTAS
  1. A timeline (fixed on scroll) provides the chronological information: the time (here expressed through a segmentation in centuries) works as the x axis.
  2. In the y axis the different meanings are displayed and ordered according to the organization of the description of the headword in the dictionary of reference (the ThLL), i.e. according to semantic groups.
  3. Collocations containing the headword are also registered (they appear on the left outside the arrow).
  4. The etymology of the headword is provided on the left side
  5. Colors indicate the type of modality.
  6. Language selection: besides a bilingual map (English-Latin), a monolingual (Latin) version is also available.
Fig. 4. Screenshot of the semantic map of POTESTAS after clicking on a sense
  1. When you click on a sense, semantic relations between meanings become visible (while loosely related meanings disappear). The visualization is reset by double-clicking.
  2. The first attestation is visible when hovering the mouse over a sense.

4. An example: the semantic map of CERTUS

Basic instructions

  • Click on a sense to see the semantic relations in synchrony and diachrony. To reset the visualization, double click in any of the visible senses.
  • The modal types are color-coded: please refer to the legend available above each semantic modal map.
  • Mouse over a meaning to read its first attestation.
  • Meanings between square brackets are an interpretation of the meaning based on the attestations (and not only on the ThLL). Senses preceded by “~” are an approximate translation.

CERTUS

Select language: EN LA
image/svg+xml Premodal Not modal Hypothetical relation Semantic relation Likely modal (see color) image/svg+xml II BCE III BCE I BCE I CE II CE III CE IV CE image/svg+xml TER. Andr. 368 ‘opinor’ narras? ... certa res est. that has been proved right, correct, trueprobatus, quod putes verum esse vel re vera existere Pit PLAUT. Persa 582 tu mi es inimicus certus. evidentmanifestus PLAUT. Mil. 407 nihil habeo certi quid loquar. nothing defined NIHIL CERTI [nihil comperti] CERTUM EST ENN. scaen. 210 amicus certus in re incerta cernitur. trustworthyfidus PLAUT . Epid. 163 senem oppugnare -umst consilium. established, decided, fixedstatutus, animo propositus PLAUT. Poen. 708 ut ipsus testis sit tibi certissimus. someone or something that can be trustedcui credere licet PLAUT. Curc. 320 iam edes aliquid. ∷ nolo hercle aliquid, certum quam ‘aliquid’ mavolo. defined definitus ENN. ann. 200 eorundem libertati me parcere certumst. it is decided [statutum est] PLAUT. 63ⁱᵉˢ, ex. gr. Amph. 265 quando imago est huius in me, certum est hominem eludere. ~ I want fere volo TER. Phorm. 148 non certum scio. CERTUM SCIO I know for sure [mihi exploratissimum est] TER. Hec. 841 vide ut mihi haec certa et clara attuleris. CERTUM + verbum dicendi/sentiendi to hear/say something accurate [dico/audio aliquid minime dubium] - PLAUT. Merc. 655 si id fore ita sat animo acceptumst, certum id, pro certo si habes. - CIC. Att. 10, 6, 3 Pompeium pro certo habemus ... proficisci al. prepos. + CERTUM for sure, undoubtedly [minime dubie, comperte] PLAUT. Amph. 347 numquid nunc es certior? CERTIOR SUM to be informed [qui aliquam rem cognitam habet] PLAUT. Capt. 732 certumne est tibi istuc? :: non moriri certius. it is certain [constat] VERG. Aen. 9, 95 certusque (suppl. velut: boni eventus) incerta pericula lustret Aeneas? suresecurus CIC. Att. 2, 24, 2 Bibulus Pompeium fecerat certiorem, ut caveret insidias. an exhortation (or similar) follows[sequitur adhortatio similiter] CIC. nat. deor. 2, 131 ab ventis Etesiis etiam maritimi cursus celeres et certi deriguntur. safe, securetutus Rhet. Her.. 1, 2, 3 ars est praeceptio, qua dat certam viam rationemque dicendi. right, properrectus CIC. Verr. 2, 141 tutores ..., quod actum erat cum Habonio, putant id esse certissimum. that is undoubtedly going to happensine dubio eventurus SEN. epist. 91, 16 nemo altero fragilior est, nemo in crastinum sui certior. confident with good reasons[animum firmum habens] CERTUS SUI VULG. Sirach. 19, 22 et non est sapientia nequitiae disciplina et non est cogitatus peccatorum prudentia / est nequitia et ipsa execratio et est insipiens qui minuitur sapientia / melior est homo qui deficit sapientia et deficiens sensu in timore quam qui abundat sensu et transgreditur legem Altissimi / est sollertia certa et ipsa iniqua / et est qui emittit verbum certum enarrans veritatem est qui nequiter humiliat se et interiora eius plena sunt dolo. accuratus carefullyperformed,prepared, studiedmeticulous PLAUT. Aul. 245 abiit neque me certiorem fecit. CERTIOREM FACIO to inform [facio ut aliquis aliquam rem cognitam habeat] PLAUT. Pseud. 1097 epistula atque imago me certum facit. CERTUM FACIO [certiorem facere, aliquando confirmo] to inform, (sometimes) to make certain PLAUT. Capt. 644 Quin nihil, inquam, invenies magis hoc certo certius. CERTO CERTIUS certainly [sine dubio] ENN. scaen. 143 quos ego (Apollo) ... ex incertis certos compotesque consili dimitto. resolute, obstinateobstinatus, firmus (de homine qui consilium cepit) CIC. Manil. 43 homines opinione non minus et fama quam aliqua ratione certa commoveri. quite important, relevantsatis gravis CIC. de orat. 1, 138 de re certis in personis ac temporibus locata. a single one, single, individualsingularis, separatus CIC. orat. 55 utcunque orator ... animum audientis moveri volet, ita certum vocis admovebit sonum. ~ suitableita constitutus, ut rationi alicuius rei conveniat CIC. div. in Caec. 24 certos esse in consilio, quibus ostendi tabellas velit. a number of, somenonnulli Rhet. Her. 3, 3, 5 certo naturae termino definiemus. set up by nature, gods and/or citizenslegibus vel usu naturae, deorum cultus, civitatum al. constitutus CIC. Verr. 4, 109 ratio certa est Aetnensium et publicis et privatis litteris consignata knownnotus CIC. Att. 12, 34, 1 te certum diem (certitudinem M pr. m. ) illius profectionis non habere. CERTUM HABEO I know novi CIC. ac. 2, 92 interrogati ... certum respondeamus, [non] habemus (sc. quid respondeamus). CERTUM + verbum dicendi/sentiendi to hear/say something for sure [profecto dico/audio aliquid] LUCR. 5, 582 quandoquidem luna claram speciem certamque figuram praebet. true, real, rightverus, rectus CAES. Gall. 5, 13, 4 certis mensuris ... videbamus. [exactus] precise VITR. 1, 1, 8 nisi sonitus ad artificis aures certos et aequales fecerint. clear, well defined, that can be discernedclarus, quod certo cognosci potest CIC. Verr. 4, 175 quae dicimus rationibus populorum non interpositis ... sed certis ... relata atque confecta sunt. authentic, genuinegenuinus CIC. div. 1, 78 fiunt certae divinationum coniecturae. reliablespeciatim fere idem quod vera explorans PLAUT. Pseud. 566 certum quod sciam, quo id sim facturus pacto nil etiam scio, nisi quia futurum est. a certain, not specified quantityquidam - PLAUT. Merc. 129 lubet scire (me), ex hoc metu ut sim certus* - CIC. Att. 2, 19, 5 hoc opinor: certi sumus periisse omnia. CERTUS SUM I am certain [compertum habeo] - PLAUT. Merc. 655 si certum id, pro certo si habes. - CIC. Att. 12, 40, 5 certum non habeo (sc. quam diu hic maneam). CERTUM HABEO I consider it certain[mihi exploratum est]

5. To know more

6. Bibliography