TNA Fellow Laura Soffiantini: Formulaic language in Latin funerary epigraphy

Laura’s fellowship at the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities focuses on Formulaic language in Latin funerary epigraphy. Formulaic language is a key aspect of Latin funerary texts. Ancient epitaphs tend to look brief and repetitive, and their massive amount raises complex challenges for scholars. From this point of view, a general overview of Latin funerary language is still lacking. The aim is to examine the presence of patterns in Latin formulae.

Starting from an existing dataset of 321’252 attestations of formulae extracted from a pool of 99’896 texts, this project will investigate to what extent formulaic words form linguistic clusters rather than isolated units. Highlighting how the use of a formula “activates” another one, it will also show interconnections within funerary texts. The project will also focus on the relationship between formulaic language and abbreviations.