Etymological Research: TRAVEL

Indo-European etymological dictionary
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Relate to cents in the dollar, centimetre, centilitre, centigrade, centipede, centenary; Science — hydro the Greek word meaning water is used in hydrate, dehydrate, hydrogen, hydraulic; aero, the Greek word for air; aeroplane, aerobics, aerodrome, aerosol, aerospace, aeronaut, aerofoil, aerodynamics.

The toll of doing etymological research

ACELA Understand how to use spelling rules and word origins, for example Greek and Latin roots, base words, suffixes, prefixes, spelling patterns and generalisations to learn new words and how to spell them. VOCC13M1: Vocabulary knowledge, Cluster 13, Marker 1: Applies knowledge of root words and word origins to understand the meaning of new subject specific words.

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School learning environments and change. The name likely results from its historical role as a hub of Szekely power for many centuries. The name was one of the few I found much easier to pronounce in Hungarian than Romanian. It also offers an example of how the Hungarian language combines words into one long stream of consonants and vowels, while Romanian more logically — at least to my mind — spaces out the different words, even if they are still unintelligible.

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Moving eastward again, I found more toponymic teasers. The city of Miercurea-Ciuc Romanian was noticeable for the simple fact that it looked like a word one would find on the back of a medicine bottle. The name looked and sounded just about as foreign as anything I have had the displeasure of pronouncing. The Hungarian name, Csikszereda, was a bit easier to say, but understanding its meaning a bit more mind bending. Miercurea means Wednesday in Romanian, as does szereda in Hungarian. After some research I discovered that the name derived from trade fairs held in the city on Wednesdays.

I found this to be a rather delightful derivation, a reminder that trade fairs were the medieval equivalent of market days which still take place in towns both large and small in Transylvania. The word Sfantu literally rolled off my tongue. It was easy to remember and define, as the Romanian word for Saint. Since the second word quite obviously was the Romanian word for the name George, it meant the city was named for Saint George, who was the patron saint of its most famous medieval church.

The Hungarian word for Sfantu Gheorghe was a built more difficult to enunciate. Each time I tried to say Sepsiszentgyorgy, I felt like the word was being spit out of my mouth. The Sepsis prefix added a whole new layer of meaning to the word. It is a callback to the earliest days of the Szekely in Transylvania, when they inhabited the southern frontier in the Sebes area.

They were displaced from that region when the Kings of Hungary settled Saxons there beginning in the 12 th century. The Szekely have kept this medieval memory alive through the name of Sepsiszentgyorgy.

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The strange sounding names of Szekely Land were not confined to the largest cities. The map was covered in exotica to the point that one word names were relatively rare and noticeable.

What is etymology?

I got the distinct feeling after looking at Szekely Land, that I would need more than a road map when traveling through this remote land. A primary goal of the project is to extend the DBnary java framework which can already extract lexical entries, lexical forms, lexical senses, POS, nyms, and more [1] to extract etymological relationships between lexemes contained in the Etymology section of the English Wiktionary. This information will be extracted into a RDF database in Wikibase the turtle syntax will be used following the W3C standards and the database will be synchronized with Wiktionary.

The framework will be developed keeping in mind future integration of the extracted database into Wikidata, which will be possible when the Wikidata-for-Wiktionary proposal see the current proposal turns into production. For this purpose, a document will be drafted describing mappings between the RDF data structure e. A second goal of the project is to build an interactive visualization tool to represent the extracted etymological relationships as well as the associated lexical information using trees.

The most complex part of the project will be developing ety2data step 1 , the extraction tool that will populate the database using Wiktionary etymology entries. This is because the etymology section of words in Wiktionary is textual and because reconstructing the full etymological tree of a word means combining etymology sections of multiple Wiktionary pages.

Before proposing this project a preliminary version of ety2data has been tested giving encouraging results: etymologies seem to be formatted in a regular way, and using etymology templates facilitates the extraction of the tree structure from the English Wiktionary. When choosing the appropriate framework for the extraction of etymologies, we selected DBnary because it seemed to be very well written, documented, and maintained. A similar etymology extraction tool is the Etymological Wordnet.

We were hoping we could use it and integrate it with etytree but unfortunately the Etymological Wordnet is not publicly available and, from a first inspection of data extracted using it which is available at the link above , we believe ety2data extraction procedure can extract more etymological relationships. Input will be gathered throughout the development of the project using mailing lists cf. The community will be involved in decisions like: definition of an ontology for etymologies, definition of the Wikidata-for-Wiktionary data structure, implementation of the visual interface.

A detailed documentation of the java tools ety2data will be produced as well as a detailed mapping of the ety2data data structure and the Wikidata-for-Wiktionary data structure.

Review Paper

For this purpose the java Wikidata-toolkit will be used as a reference. Ester Pantaleo is a PhD in Physics and a freelance data scientist. Her CV is available here. She has done research on different types of data including Finance and Genomics data and has always been interested in etymology and open source collaborative projects. She recently became interested in data visualizations and the semantic web.

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