Greek spelling was standardised in the fifth century BC, but as the language underwent drastic changes on the phonological level (among other levels) in later periods, spelling and pronunciation grew apart. The phonological changes have already been studied extensively, mainly on the basis of spelling variations, but a systematic study of the social meaning of this variation has yet to be carried out. The social meaning of this variation will be my object of study.
In my research, which is part of the ERC-project Everyday Writing in Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt (I – VIII AD). A Socio-Semiotic Study of Communicative Variation, I will develop an approach to explain spelling variation and more specifically orthographic hypercorrection in Ancient Greek papyri from a historical-sociolinguistic point of view.