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PROIEL: Pragmatic Resources in Old Indo-European Languages (completed)

This project was a close linguistic study of the language in the Greek text of the New Testament as well as its translations into the old Indo-European languages Latin, Gothic, Armenian and Old Church Slavonic.

About the project

The aim of the project was to describe and account for the so-called pragmatic resources of these languages, i.e. the resources that the grammar makes available for structuring information in a text, and eventually to compare the different systems from a typological and a genetic perspective.

In producing oral or written discourses, speakers/writers mark discourse referents, events, times, places and individuals that are spoken about, as old, new or contrastive information in order to make it easier for listeners/readers to keep track of them. Different languages provide different means to achieve this.


In PROIEL we focued particularly on:

  • Word order
  • Discourse particles
  • Pronominal reference and the use of null pronouns
  • Expressions of definiteness
  • The use of participles to refer to background events


In order to facilitate a full comparative study of these phenomena, we created a parallel corpus of the old Indo-European translations of the New Testament.



National partners

International partners

  • Argument Structure in Texts (Erfurt - Pavia)
  • Informationsstruktur und Wortstellung im Germanischen at the Humboldt University Berlin
  • Korpuslinguistik und diachrone Syntax: Die Grammatikalisierung peripherer Subjekte in slavischen Sprachen at the University of Regensburg
  • Centro Interdisciplinare di Ricerche per la Computerizzazione dei Segni dell’Espressione at Università cattolica del sacro cuore (Milan)
  • The Perseus project at Tufts University


Exploring Ancient Languages through Corpora

Time and place: June 14.-16 2012, P.A. Munchs building and Niels Treschow building, Blindern campus of the University of Oslo.   

There have been a large growth of corpora for ancient languages the last years, some of them quite general and available online, others created ad hoc and for specific research projects. These new tools enable us to approach the study of ancient languages in more sophisticated ways, developing empirical analyses and testing theoretical analyses against large amounts of data.

The PROIEL project organized a conference with the aim of bringing together scholars working within this approach. We invited submissions reporting on both synchronic and diachronic work on ancient languages, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • discourse interpretation
  • information structure
  • syntax
  • semantics
  • statistical corpus exploration



  • Eckhoff, Hanne Martine; Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew. Aligning Syntax in Early New Testament Texts: the PROIEL Corpus. Wiener Slavistischer Almanach 2010.
  • Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew; Lee, John Sie Yuen. Porting an Ancient Greek and Latin Treebank. I: Proceedings of the Seventh conference on International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10). European Language Resources Association 2010 ISBN 2-9517408-6-7. s. 1918-1924.


  • Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew; Jøhndal, Marius; Eckhoff, Hanne Martine; Welo, Eirik; Hertzenberg, Mari Johanne Bordal; Müth, Angelika. Computational and Linguistic Issues in Designing a Syntactically Annotated Parallel Corpus of Indo-European Languages. Traitement Automatique des Langues 2009 ;Volum 50. 
  • Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew. "med" - the syntax and semantics of concomitance in Norwegian. Proceedings of the LFG-conference 2009 ;Volum 14. s. 338-356
  • Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew; Eckhoff, Hanne Martine; Majer, Marek; Welo, Eirik. Breaking down and putting back together: analysis and synthesis of New Testament Greek. Journal of Greek Linguistics 2009 ;Volum 9.(1) s. 56-92


  • Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew. Tense and Aspect for Glue Semantics: The case of participial XADJ's. Proceedings of the LFG-conference 2008
  • Haug, Dag Trygve Truslew; Jøhndal, Marius. Creating a Parallel Treebank of the Old Indo-European Bible Translations. I: Proceedings of the Sixth International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08). Paris: European Language Resources Association (ELRA) 2008 ISBN 2-9517408-4-0.
Published Sep. 29, 2020 1:14 PM - Last modified May 28, 2021 10:54 AM


Detailed list of participants