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The interrelationship between scriptal and linguistic variation in notary signatures of Greek contracts from late antique Egypt

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  • EVWRIT (Everyday Writing in Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt (I - VIII AD). A Socio-Semiotic Study of Communicative Variation)
Abstract
This study investigates linguistic and scriptal variation in notary signatures found in late antique contracts from Egypt, seeking to identify and interpret the potential relationship between choices in language and script. To answer this, theoretical concepts and methods from sociolinguistics, social semiotics, and multilingual studies are used, with the objective of adding a new, more linguistically-oriented perspective to existing research on notarial signatures. On the one hand, this research demonstrates how the Latin script seems to restrict notaries, resulting in transliterated Greek signatures with very homogeneous content. The familiarity of notaries with the Greek language and writing is, on the other hand, reflected in signatures written in the Greek alphabet, which are much more diverse and at times adjusted to the circumstances under which specific documents were composed. Even if notaries seem to lack confidence in freely producing text in the Latin script, they choose to do so due to its functional values, which are conveyed and perceived visually. Latin letters create an association between signatories and Roman law, adding to the trustworthiness and prestige of the signatures. Differentiating between script and language allows us to understand how the Latin script maintained the connotations that formerly accompanied the Latin language, gradually replacing it in the form of transliterated passages, at a time when the language was disappearing from papyrological documentation. In this sense, sociolinguistics, and especially social semiotics, prove useful when dealing with visual aspects of language in papyri, as they prevent their functions and meanings from being overlooked.
Keywords
notary, social semiotics, digraphia, diglossia, di emou signatures, ROMAN

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MLA
Apostolakou, Antonia. “The Interrelationship between Scriptal and Linguistic Variation in Notary Signatures of Greek Contracts from Late Antique Egypt.” JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY, vol. 50, 2020, pp. 1–47, doi:10.36389/uw.jjurp.50.2020.pp.1-47.
APA
Apostolakou, A. (2020). The interrelationship between scriptal and linguistic variation in notary signatures of Greek contracts from late antique Egypt. JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY, 50, 1–47. https://doi.org/10.36389/uw.jjurp.50.2020.pp.1-47
Chicago author-date
Apostolakou, Antonia. 2020. “The Interrelationship between Scriptal and Linguistic Variation in Notary Signatures of Greek Contracts from Late Antique Egypt.” JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY 50: 1–47. https://doi.org/10.36389/uw.jjurp.50.2020.pp.1-47.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Apostolakou, Antonia. 2020. “The Interrelationship between Scriptal and Linguistic Variation in Notary Signatures of Greek Contracts from Late Antique Egypt.” JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY 50: 1–47. doi:10.36389/uw.jjurp.50.2020.pp.1-47.
Vancouver
1.
Apostolakou A. The interrelationship between scriptal and linguistic variation in notary signatures of Greek contracts from late antique Egypt. JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY. 2020;50:1–47.
IEEE
[1]
A. Apostolakou, “The interrelationship between scriptal and linguistic variation in notary signatures of Greek contracts from late antique Egypt,” JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY, vol. 50, pp. 1–47, 2020.
@article{8687181,
  abstract     = {{This study investigates linguistic and scriptal variation in notary signatures found in late antique contracts from Egypt, seeking to identify and interpret the potential relationship between choices in language and script. To answer this, theoretical concepts and methods from sociolinguistics, social semiotics, and multilingual studies are used, with the objective of adding a new, more linguistically-oriented perspective to existing research on notarial signatures. On the one hand, this research demonstrates how the Latin script seems to restrict notaries, resulting in transliterated Greek signatures with very homogeneous content. The familiarity of notaries with the Greek language and writing is, on the other hand, reflected in signatures written in the Greek alphabet, which are much more diverse and at times adjusted to the circumstances under which specific documents were composed. Even if notaries seem to lack confidence in freely producing text in the Latin script, they choose to do so due to its functional values, which are conveyed and perceived visually. Latin letters create an association between signatories and Roman law, adding to the trustworthiness and prestige of the signatures. Differentiating between script and language allows us to understand how the Latin script maintained the connotations that formerly accompanied the Latin language, gradually replacing it in the form of transliterated passages, at a time when the language was disappearing from papyrological documentation. In this sense, sociolinguistics, and especially social semiotics, prove useful when dealing with visual aspects of language in papyri, as they prevent their functions and meanings from being overlooked.}},
  author       = {{Apostolakou, Antonia}},
  issn         = {{0075-4277}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF JURISTIC PAPYROLOGY}},
  keywords     = {{notary,social semiotics,digraphia,diglossia,di emou signatures,ROMAN}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{1--47}},
  title        = {{The interrelationship between scriptal and linguistic variation in notary signatures of Greek contracts from late antique Egypt}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.36389/uw.jjurp.50.2020.pp.1-47}},
  volume       = {{50}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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