Textual variation and the representation of dialect in Petronius’ Satyricon

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Title: Textual variation and the representation of dialect in Petronius’ Satyricon
Author: Bunch, Allyson F.
Type: Thesis
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: In this thesis, I test a methodology for a quantitative analysis of orthographic error in the Satyricon. For six types of spelling deviation, I calculate the percentage of change – the number of deviant spellings (the number changed) divided by the number of tokens that had a phonetic environment susceptible to change (the potential targets). I compare this figure for the narrative portions of the text and the dialogue portions of the text. I then use a two-sample proportion test to determine whether there is a statistically significant difference between the dialogue and narrative portions of the text. My results are not conclusive grounds for emendation, because I only had a large enough data sample to obtain significant results for degemination. However, there were clear evidence that degemination was a scribal error and some suggestion that the merger of [e!] and [i] might be deliberately employed. This methodology is too time-consuming to be practical unless data is to be collected with a computer. This type of analysis will yield the most interesting and accurate results when performed in tandem with a close qualitative reading of error in the text.
Subject: Satyricon
Subject: Petronius Arbiter
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Bunch, Allyson F.. "Textual variation and the representation of dialect in Petronius’ Satyricon". 2012. Available electronically from

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