A tool for multifaceted analysis of the Old Polish New Testament apocrypha

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Karolina Bohdanowicz

    Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center

  2. 2. Karolina Borowiec

    Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology - Adam Mickiewicz University

  3. 3. Anna Cieplicka

    Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center

  4. 4. Michał Kozak

    Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center

  5. 5. Dorota Rojszczak-Robińska

    Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology - Adam Mickiewicz University

  6. 6. Justyna Wytrążek

    Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center

  7. 7. Olga Ziółkowska

    Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology - Adam Mickiewicz University

Work text
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The presented tool – web search engine – is being created as part of the project funded by the National Science Centre in Poland (no. 2017/26/E/HS2/000083):
Origins of Polish language and religious culture in the light of the medieval Apocrypha of the New Testament. A universal tool for the study of Polish apocryphal texts. It will serve for multifaceted, multidisciplinary analysis of all saved Old Polish (i.e. until the middle of the 16th century) New Testament apocrypha.
The religious Polish language from a historical point of view constitutes the most important variety of Polish – it formed the basis for the shaping of the Polish literary language. These texts are fundamental not only for the history of Polish culture, but also for the literature and language of the East Slavdom. This is also the most extensive body of the Polish mediaeval writing – the New Testament apocrypha consist of more than 2000 pages of manuscripts. Unfortunately, those texts are largely inaccessible or poorly accessible (unpublished, published only in transliteration) or available only in excerpts. Moreover, the editions remaining in circulation are not sufficient to conduct in-depth research. This is true for not only philological (linguistic studies, literary studies, the studies of sources), but also religious or cultural studies.
Due to their complexity and diverse character the above mentioned texts require a digital way of presentation. Consequently, one of the aims of the project is to develop a tool enabling fully interdisciplinary and multifaceted studies. This tool will be an advanced search engine with the functionality of comparing results based on a meticulously developed database, including, among others, Latin sources, Slavic contexts and the employed themes.
New transliterations and transcriptions of these texts will be prepared for the needs of the search engine, taking into account the latest research on them and Old Polish language in general. Due to the fact that the project engages not only philologists, the engine will meet the needs of researchers specializing in other fields:

Including sources (such as Latin) or themes should help to conduct traditional historical-lexical interpretations. Owing to this, it will be possible to analyse these texts in the context of the studies concerning orality and literacy, vernacularism and also the art of memory. Indication of the texts used by the Old Polish writers will also enable the reception of theological works of selected Church Fathers in medieval Poland.
The compilation of themes will make it be possible to carry out an analysis of theological awareness or spirituality of particular writers and their way of understanding the described events. It will also be possible to examine the customs connected with commenting biblical texts and to deepen knowledge about biblical studies in mediaeval Poland.
Indication of parallel locations will enable research on the medieval creative process (unique ways of working out topics, translation techniques, ways of organizing the text – e.g. introducing quotations), it can also be a starting point for further comparative studies of Slavonic apocryphal narratives.

An additional help for non-philologists users will be a grammatical comment – another functionality facilitating understanding of the Old Polish text (grammatical forms that no longer exist in a language like dualis or aorist). The already existing tools for morphological analyses of natural languages are not suitable for the analysis of the Old Polish language. The application created for the needs of the project will facilitate annotation of grammar forms.
The web portal designed in this way will be a modern research tool, answering the needs of not only philologists, but also theologists or culture experts. It will be implemented in Java programming language with the usage of Play Framework (backend) and in JavaScript programming language with the usage of the React library (frontend). The system will import apocrypha in the form of MsWord files and automatically transform them to TEI P5 files. Next these files will be stored in the relational database PostgreSQL associated with the portal. These texts will be simultaneously indexed in many ways in the search engine Apache Solr, due to this, the portal will offer an advanced search, not only by a phrase, but also by words taking into account the lemmatization of Old Polish language developed in the project. Other above-listed relationships, like sources or themes will also be stored in this database and indexed in Apache Solr. The portal will provide user-friendly browsing and searching according to these relationships as well as user-friendly views for comparing matching parts of texts.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2019

Hosted at Utrecht University

Utrecht, Netherlands

July 9, 2019 - July 12, 2019

436 works by 1162 authors indexed

Series: ADHO (14)

Organizers: ADHO