INCEpTION - A World of Possibilities

A World of Possibilities

Semantic annotation of modality in a diachronic Latin corpus

Source: This use-case was kindly contributed by Helena Bermúdez Sabel, Université de Lausanne.

This use case concerns the SNSF project A World of Possibilities. Modal pathways over an extra-long period of time: the diachrony of modality in the Latin language, (WoPoss), led by Francesca Dell’Oro and hosted at the University of Lausanne.

This project studies the evolution of modal meanings in Latin, analyzing modality mainly from a semantic perspective, although not exclusively. Modal meanings are empirically elicited by annotating modal passages in a diachronic corpus using the platform INCEpTION.

On the basis of the Woposs guidelines for annotation, we formalized an annotation scheme by defining customized layers with their corresponding features and tagsets. In addition, constraints were declared in order to define the optional or mandatory nature of these elements as well as the relations between them. This video shows how a modal passage is annotated in INCEpTION.


  • Bermúdez Sabel, Helena (in press). “Digital tools for semantic annotation: the WoPoss use case”. Bulletin de linguistique et des sciences du langage, 30. Preprint.
  • Dell’Oro, Francesca (2019). WoPoss guidelines for annotation. Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3560951
  • Dell’Oro, Francesca; Bermúdez Sabel, Helena; Marongiu, Paola (2020). “Implemented to be shared: the WoPoss annotation of semantic modality in a Latin diachronic corpus”. Sharing the Experience: Workflows for the Digital Humanities. Proceedings of the DARIAH-CH Workshop 2019 (Neuchâtel). doi:10.5281/zenodo.3739440