Helma Dik

Associate Professor of Classics and the College
Wiebolt 222
Ph.D., University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), 1995
Research Interests: Greek language and linguistics; Greek prose style; corpus linguistics; Digital Humanities

Professor Dik’s primary interest is in the synchronic linguistics of Classical Greek, especially the interplay of syntax, semantics and pragmatics as well as the specific manifestations of language use (“stylistics”) in particular authors, such as Herodotus, Demosthenes, and Sophocles. Her long-term goal is to produce a reference grammar of Classical Greek that takes into account the many developments in the field in the last century. This has led to collaborative efforts with the Perseus Project (Tufts & Leipzig) and many other Digital Classics projects in various countries, as well as to the co-organization of an annual colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, a regional conference now hosted on a rotating basis by Chicago, IIT, Northwestern, Loyola and DePaul. Currently, her digital activities have led to research questions such as on automated parsing algorithms for Greek and Latin, or on gendered language in drama through text mining. This and other topics are the subject of a book in progress. She has supervised  dissertations on the style of Demosthenes, on gemstones with a network analysis approach, on the application of conditional random field parsers to Greek, and on text mining approaches to Thucydides. Her undergraduate students have gone on to work as IT consultants and programmers in industry and in academia, as well as to graduate study in Classics.

Recent Publications

  • “Review Essay: On First Looking into the Digital Loeb Library.” CJ Online: 2015.03.01.
  • “Most Likely to Succeed: Degree Adverbs Specifying Probability in Classical Greek.” GRBS 54 (2014), 599-616.
  • Word Order in Greek Tragic Dialogue (Oxford, 2007).
  • “On Unemphatic ‘Emphatic’ Pronouns in Greek: Nominative Pronouns in Plato and Sophocles.” Mnemosyne 56 (2003), 535-50.
  • Word Order in Ancient Greek. A Pragmatic Account of Word Order Variation in Herodotus (Amsterdam, 1995).