The digital text corpus will be installed in such a way that it can be extended and updated at any time. This allows for new developments in the research of writing systems to be followed, revisions, and the integration of updated descriptions and interpretations. The corpus based method allows for consideration of all written and language data, including undeciphered passages, the representation of the respective passages in their original hieroglyphic spelling, inclusion of temporal and regional information, epigraphic and linguistic analysis, and integration of historico-cultural comments and secondary literature references.
By entering the texts into a database, concordance and collocation analyses can be performed, and textual patterns recognized. For the first time a complete inventory of Mayan writing and its underlying language will be created, which enables the following of writing and language developments from a historical perspective.
As a basic research project, we intend, however, not only to present the Classic Mayan cultural vocabulary and the sum of research on Mayan writing and language, but also to fundamentally contribute to the comparative research of writing systems. Through corpus based lexicography all inscribed objects known from Classic Mayan culture will be entered both in their original spelling and transcribed into a database. The latter is part of the virtual research platform TextGrid that allows for consistent updates and modifications.
The inscription archive of the project will be presented and made accessible via Open Access as part of the Bonn University Library Digital Collections (Digitale Sammlungen), an infrastructure that guarantees long term storage. The XML text database hosted in Göttingen will be accessible to researchers and provide the base for epigraphic and linguistic analyses, the results of which will serve the compilation, editing and publication of the dictionary.
The latter will be published both on the Internet as well as in a printed version. Throughout the course of the project both the text database and preliminary versions of the dictionary will be freely available for research.