Tag: tools

Online lexicon linked to our corpora!

We have a great announcement today.  Along with our German research partners as part of the KELLIA project, we are releasing an online Coptic lexicon linked to our corpora.

For over three years, the Berlin-Brandenberg Academy of Sciences has been working on a digital lexicon for Coptic.  Frank Feder began the work.  Frank Feder began creating it, encoding definitions for Coptic lemmas in three languages: English, French, and German. The final entries were completed by Maxim Kupreyev at the academy and Julien Delhez in Göttingen.  The base lexicon file is encoded in TEI-XML.  This summer Amir Zeldes and his student, Emma Manning, created a web interface.  We will release the source code soon as part of the KELLIA project.

It may still need some refinements and updates, but we think it is a useful achievement that will help anyone interested in Coptic.

Entries have definitions in French, German, and English.

You can use the lexicon as a standalone website.  For the pilot launch, it’s on the Georgetown server, but make no mistake, this is major research outcome for the BBAW.

We’ve also linked the dictionary to our texts in Coptic SCRIPTORIUM.  You can click on the ANNIS icon in the dictionary entry to search all corpora in Coptic SCRIPTORIUM for that word.

lexicon-to-ANNIS The link also goes in the other direction.  In the normalized visualization of our texts, you can click on a word and get taken to the entry for that word’s lemma in the dictionary.  You can do this in the normalized visualization in our web application for reading and accessing texts (pictured below), or in the normalized visualization embedded in the ANNIS tool.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 10.22.39 AM

Of course there will be refinements and developments to come.  We would love to hear your feedback on what works, what could work better, and where you find glitches.

On a more personal note, when Amir and I first came up with the idea for the project, we dreamed of creating a Perseus Digital Library for Coptic.  This dictionary is a huge step forward.  And honestly, I myself had almost nothing to do with this piece of the project.  It’s an example of the importance and power of collaboration.

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 Coptic morphological anlaysis

A new component has been added to the Coptic NLP pipe-line at:


This adds morphological analysis of complex word forms, including multiple affixes (e.g. derived nouns with affixes such as Coptic ‘mnt’, equivalent to English ‘-ness’), compounds (noun-noun combinations) and complex verbs. Using the automatic morphological analysis will substantially reduce the amount of manual work involved in putting new texts online, meaning we will be able to concentrate on getting more texts out there faster, as well as developing new tools and ways of interacting with the data.

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

New web application to read documents, cite data, and access data (BETA release)

We’re very excited to announce a new feature at Coptic SCRIPTORIUM.  We’ve created a new online web application that we think will allow users to read and reference our material much more easily.

Users can read Coptic documents on HTML pages taken from the data visualizations.  There are also easy links to our search tool ANNIS and to our GitHub repository for downloading files.

And we have a system of canonical URNS that provide persisent identifiers for documents, texts, authors, and text groups.   This means you can cite our data in your scholarship, and then readers will be able to back to our site and find our most recent versions of the documents you have cited.

We’ve got a little video to introduce it, or dive right in at http://data.copticscriptorium.org.

This is a BETA release, which means you might see a few things that need to be ironed out.  (For one thing, our small corpus of documentary papyri are not yet in the system — stay tuned, and in the meanwhile you can still read and query them in ANNIS.)  We are pretty pleased with how it’s turning out and look forward to future developments.

Many thanks to Bridget Almas of the Perseus Digital Library for helping us develop a canonical referencing system, and to Archimedes Digital for implementing the application.



Entire Sahidica New Testament now available

The entire Sahidica New Testament (machine-annotated) is now available. It has been tokenized and tagged for part of speech entirely automatically, using our tools. There has been no manual editing or correction. Visit our corpora for more information, or just jump in and search it in ANNIS.


(Originally posted in March 2015 at http://copticscriptorium.org/)

Introducing the project texts and data model, and how to use ANNIS

To learn more about Coptic SCRIPTORIUM’s corpora, data model, and features,  here is a video on how to use the tool ANNIS into the world of Coptic. Thanks goes to Caroline T. Schroeder for the video from her youtube channel.

(Originally posted on copticscriptorium.org)

Release of the updated tokenizer

The tokenizer has been updated! Version 3.0 is now on GitHub.  It has introduced a training data component that learns from our annotators’ most common tokenization and correction practices.  The tokenizer breaks Coptic text segmented as bound groups into morphemes for analysis/annotation

(Originally posted on copticscriptorium.org on 5/22/15.)

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