Old Scripts in New Digital Age Hermeneutics versus Artificial Intelligence(SoSe 20)
Alicia Gonzalez Martinez, University of Hamburg, "Cross-script searching in historical texts: breaking the barriers of religion"
Proto-writing consisted of pictograms which represented basic objects or ideas. It soon developed into a more complex system that combines logographic and phonemic symbols. Contemporary writing systems are based on the same principle: they combine symbols of logographic and phonemic nature. The difference among them is how much weight each of the two types have and in which way they represent phonemic elements. Moreover, writing has been invented quite rarely in the history of humanity. Script borrowing is a common process when different cultures are put into contact, and it ends up being an essential part of the identity to the community that uses it. One of the strongest cases of this is religion. Religion typically adopts a specific script as an identitary mark. This causes that speakers of the same language may use different scripts depending on the religion they profess. Digital Humanities can help us create tools which let us make searches in the same language regardless of the script used to represent them. In this way, we would have unbiased results when searching into historical texts.
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