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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Open Humanities Data
Volume (Issue) 8
Page(s) 1 - 14
Title of proceedings Journal of Open Humanities Data
DOI 10.5334/johd.58

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


In this paper, we present the diachronic maps of a selection of 75 Latin modal markersdesigned through the tool Pygmalion . Both the maps and Pygmalion were conceivedin the framework of the WoPoss project, which aims at analysing the diachronicpathways of modality in Latin. While the description of the tool and its functionalitiesis beyond the scope of this paper, we focus here on the description of our diachronicmodal maps.Using visualisations to represent semantic shifts is a well-known practice in somelinguistic fields such as typology and lexicography, and they have already been appliedto modality. Though the situation is rapidly evolving, typological semantic maps aswell as lexicographic maps are still for the most part static and usually not-interactivevisualisations. Our modal maps stand out not only for their interactivity, but also forthe richness of the information conveyed: chronology, etymology, semantics, syntax,first attestation and diachronic relationships between the meanings.After presenting our conceptual framework for modality, we illustrate the processof conceptualisation and development of our diachronic maps of modality. Morespecifically, we explain how we gathered and organised the data in order to transposeit into a visual representation. We then showcase the map of possum as an exampleof our results. Subsequently, we discuss the results with respect to previous literatureconcerning both visualisation of modal evolution from a general point of view and theinvestigation of modality in Latin. Finally, we outline possible applications within andbeyond the WoPoss project.