Tag: annotation

New Release of Corpora

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve released more texts in our corpora.

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Apophthegmata Patrum) corpus now contains 52 sayings/apophthegms (>7100 words).  We have edited previously published sayings for consistency in annotation, and we’ve released new sayings edited by Christine Luckritz Marquis, Elizabeth Platte, and our newest contributor, Dana Robinson.  Read or browse the Sayings online.  Click on the “Analytic” button to see read a saying in Coptic with a parallel English translation + part of speech tags for each Coptic word.

Or click on the “Norm” button (short for “normalized”) to read the Coptic.  Clicking on any Coptic word in the normalized visualization will take you to an online Coptic-English dictionary.  Hovering your cursor over a passage in the normalized visualization will show the English translation in a pop up window.

AP 96 Normalized view screenshot

AP 96 Normalized view screenshot

Shenoute’s I See Your Eagerness now has numerous new manuscript fragments published (over 16,000 words).  We also have edited previously published witnesses for consistency in annotation.  These documents were transcribed and collated from the manuscripts by David Brakke and annotated for digital publication by Rebecca Krawiec.  Now you can read Shenoute’s I See Your Eagerness in nearly its entirety in Coptic.  We provide several paths for you to explore this text:

  1. Read the text from start to end, beginning with the first manuscript fragment. Click “NEXT” to keep reading.
    MONB.GL fragment D diplomatic visualization

    MONB.GL fragment D diplomatic visualization

    (No English translation is provided, but in the “Note” metadata field below the Coptic, you can find page numbers for David Brakke’s and Andrew Crislip’s translation in their book, Discourses of Shenoute.)  “Next” and “Previous” buttons will take you through the path we consider optimal for reading the text. This path wanders through various manuscript witnesses, following the path with the fewest lacunae. Want to see parallel witnesses? Check out the “Witness” metadata field below the text.

    MONB.GL 29-30 metadata screenshot

    MONB.GL 29-30 metadata screenshot

  2. Read through all surviving pages in one codex/manuscript witness by filtering for a particular codex. Click through the documents in that codex.  For example, if you want to read through all the fragments of codex MONB.GL, go to data.copticscriptorium.org, and use the menu to filter by Corpus for the shenoute.eagerness corpus, and then filter by manuscript name for the MONB.GL codex.   Click through the documents in that codex.
  3. Perform a search/query in our ANNIS database.   For example, search for all occurrences of “wicked” (ⲡⲟⲛⲏⲣⲟⲛ) in the corpus.  Or, search for occurrences of “wicked” controlling for duplicate hits in parallel manuscript witnesses.  See our guide to queries in ANNIS  for more tips.

You also can download the entire corpus in TEI XML, PAULA XML, and relANNIS formats  from our GitHub site.

December 2016 corpus release (v 2.2.0)

We are happy to release the following new and revised documents to our corpora.  A copy of the official release notes is below.  The data is available for download from GitHub in TEI XML, PAULA XML, and relANNIS formats.  The corpora can be viewed and accessed at data.copticscriptorium.org, and they all can  be queried in ANNIS. We plan for another release with more documents in March 2017.

As always:  if you have comments or corrections, please submit a pull request on GitHub or send us an email at contact [at] copticscriptorium [dot] org.


This corpus release includes new or revised documents for:

  • 1 Corinthians: machine and manual annotations; new documents are chapters 13-16; edits to already published chapters include corrections and modifications to lemmas, normalization, part of speech, and/or tokenization to conform to evolving guidelines
  • Mark: machine and manual annotations; edits to already published chapters include corrections and modifications to lemmas, normalization, part of speech, and/or tokenization to conform to evolving guidelines
  • Not Because a Fox Barks (Shenoute): machine and manual annotations; edits to already published document include corrections and modifications to lemmas, normalization, part of speech, and/or tokenization to conform to evolving guidelines
  • Besa letters: machine and manual annotations; edits to already published documents include corrections and modifications to lemmas, normalization, part of speech, and/or tokenization to conform to evolving guidelines

All other documents in our corpora are unchanged from the last release.

New metadata and corpus feature: We are beginning to add to our documents a metadata field called “order” which will allow us to present documents in a logical order for browsing or reading. We’ve implemented it in the Besa letters, corpus and will roll it out for other corpora in the future. Our Document Retrieval web application (data.copticscriptorium.org) now lists the documents in the order in which they appear in the manuscript tradition, when you filter for that corpus. Thus, users who wish to read or browse the documents in that order can do so easily.

Version control: We have set the version number on our document metadata, corpus metadata (in ANNIS), and release information (in GitHub) all to match. Version #s and dates are only revised when a document is revised. So if no documents in our AP corpus have been revised and republished, or no new documents for that corpus have been published, then the version # on the documents and corpus do not change. Only new and newly edited documents (and their corpora) will have version 2.2.0 and date 08 December 2016 in their metadata.

Coptic Treebank Released

Yesterday we published the first public version of the Coptic Universal Dependency Treebank. This resource is the first syntactically annotated corpus of Coptic, containing complete analyses of each sentence in over 4,300 words of Coptic excerpts from Shenoute, the New Testament and the Apophthegmata Patrum.

To get an idea of the kind of analysis that Treebank data gives use, compare the following examples of an English and a Coptic dependency syntax tree. In the English tree below, the subject and object of the verb ‘depend’ on the verb for their grammatical function – the nominal subject (nsubj) is “I”, and the direct object (dobj) is “cat”.


We can quickly find out what’s going on in a sentence or ‘who did what to whom’ by looking at the arrows emanating from each word. The same holds for this Coptic example, which uses the same Universal Dependencies annotation schema, allowing us to compare English and Coptic syntax.

He gave them to the poor

He gave them to the poor

Treebanks are an essential component for linguistic research, but they also enable a variety of Natural Language Processing technologies to be used on a language. Beyond automatically parsing text to make some more analyzed data, we can use syntax trees for information extraction and entity recognition. For example, the first tree below shows us that “the Presbyter of Scetis” is a coherent entity (a subgraph, headed by a noun); the incorrect analysis following it would suggest Scetis is not part of the same unit as the Presbyter, meaning we could be dealing with a different person.

One time, the Presbyter of Scetis went...

One time, the Presbyter of Scetis went…

One time, the Presbyter went from Scetis... (incorrect!)

One time, the Presbyter went from Scetis… (incorrect!)

To find out more about this resource, check out the new Coptic Treebank webpage. And to read where the Presbyter of Scetis went, go to this URN: urn:cts:copticLit:ap.19.monbeg.

New born-digital edition of a Shenoute fragment

This winter we’ve released a new document we’ve been working on for a while.  It’s a born digital publication, in the sense that this document to our knowledge has never been published previously.  The edition and annotations here were produced by Elizabeth Platte (Reed College) and Rebecca S. Krawiec (Canisius College) directly from digital photographs of the manuscript for digital publication.

Read the manuscript transcription or the  normalized text, or query it in our database.

It’s a section of one of Shenoute’s texts for monks in volume three of his monastic Canons.  This 14-page (seven-folio) fragment now resides in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and originally derives from the White Monastery codex known by the siglum MONB.YB.  We’ve released text and annotations for pages 307-320, which equate to the BN call number Ms Copte 130/2 ff. 51-57.  Digital photos are now available online at Gallica.

We’ve transcribed the text from images of the manuscript and then annotated it for manuscript information.  We’ve also broken the text down into the Coptic phrases known as “bound groups,” words, and morphs.  Then we’ve annotated it all for part of speech, loan words (Greek, Latin, etc.), and lemmas.

By “we” I mean primarily Platte and Krawiec .  Schroeder and Zeldes provided editorial review, as per our policy of having every published digital document reviewed by at least one editor.

As far as we know, this fragment has never been published; nor has any translation ever been published.  We don’t have a translation yet, either.

As the first born-digital edition, this document is an experiment for us.  Everything else we’ve worked with has been published in an edition, and sometimes even has an English translation that another scholar has published.  Even though we digitize from the original manuscript, previous editions and translations make the transcription, annotation, and editing process much easier.  This document is an unknown quantity.

This means we expect to have errors and welcome feedback on the document.

We also have no translation as of yet.  Our goal is to translate the document and then edit the transcription and annotations again as we work.  We hope to publish an essay on how the digital annotation process affected the creation of an edition.

In the meantime, use it to practice your Coptic.  Let us know if you find errors.  We’ll credit you.

Coptic NLP pipeline Part 2

With the creation of the Coptic NLP (Natural Language Processor) pipeline by Amir Zeldes, it is now possible to run all our NLP tools simultaneously without the need to individually download and run them. The web application will tokenize bound groups into words, and will normalize the spelling of words and diacritics. It will also tag for part-of-speech, lemmatize, and tag for language of origin for borrowed (foreign) words. The interface is XML tolerant (preserves tags in the input) and the output is tagged in SGML. One of the options is to encode the lines breaks in a word or sentence which is useful for encoding manuscripts. However, keep in mind to double check results because the interface is still in the beta stage.

As an example, the screenshot below is a snippet from I See Your Eagerness from manuscript MONB.GL29.



Notice it contains an XML tag to encode a letter as “large ekthetic”. “Large ekthetic” corresponds to the alpha letter to designate it as a large character in the left margin of the manuscript’s column of text.  This tag will be preserved in the output.


The results are shown above. Bounds group are shown and along with the part of speech tag abbreviated as “pos”. The snippet from I See Your Eagerness has also been lemmatized, shown as “lemma”. Also, near the bottom of the screenshot, the language of origin of borrowed (foreign) words in the snippet has been identified as “Greek”.  These tags also correspond to the annotation layers you see in our multi-layer search and visualization tool ANNIS.

We hope the NLP service serves you well.


New Coptic NLP pipeline

The entire tool chain of Coptic Natural Language Processing has been difficult to get running for some: it involves a bunch of command line tools, and special attention needed to be paid to coordinating word division expectations between the tools (normalization, tagging, language of origin detection). In order to make this process simpler, we now offer a Web interface that let’s you paste in Coptic text and run all tools on the input automatically, without installing anything. You can find the interface here:


The pipeline is XML tolerant (preserves tags in the input) and there’s also a machine actionable API version for external software to use these resources. Please let the Scriptorium team know if you’re using the pipeline and/or run into any problems.


Happy processing!

Introducing the Lemmatizer Tool

A new tool available at the Coptic SCRIPTORIUM webpage is the lemmatizer. The lemmatizer annotates words with their dictionary head word. The purpose of lemmatization is to group together the different inflected forms of a word so they can be analyzed as a single item.

For example, in English, the verb ‘to walk’ may appear as ‘walk’, ‘walked’, ‘walks’, and ‘walking’. The base form, ‘walk’, might be the word to look up in the dictionary, and it would be called the lemma for the word.

In Coptic, plural nouns sometimes have different forms, and verbs have different forms.  A lemmatized corpus is useful for searching all the forms of a word and also if you want to link all the forms of a word to an online dictionary for future use.

Two of the corpora we have are annotated with lemmas: Not because a fox barks (Shenoute) and the Apophthegmata. As illustrated in the image below, I have searched for ⲟⲩⲱϩ, to live or dwell.


Also note that in the corpus list, I have chosen to look in the corpus ‘Not Because a Fox Barks’, as indicated by the highlighted blue selection.

scriptorium ANNIS Corpus Search

Notice the word forms corresponding to the lemma I have searched for becomes highlighted in the corpus that was chosen.  Two forms of the verb ⲟⲩⲱϩ appear in the results:  ⲟⲩⲱϩ and ⲟⲩⲏϩ.  In addition, there is also an annotation grid.

Desctop screenshot

Clicking on the annotations grid reveals a plethora of information including the translation of the text along with its parts of speech. Hovering over the text using your computer’s mouse allows you to also find parts that may be related. For example, below  the POS (part of speech) is V (verb), and when the mouse is hovering over V, a highlight indicates what word in the text the verb is referring to.



The tool is a feature in our part-of-speech tagger, so you can lemmatize at the same time you annotate a corpus for parts of speech.  See https://github.com/CopticScriptorium/tagger-part-of-speech/.

Additional guidelines are available here:  https://github.com/CopticScriptorium/tagger-part-of-speech/blob/master/Coptic%20SCRIPTORIUM%20lemmatization%20guidelines.pdf

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