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Project: Amō, Amās, Amant

The aim of Project: Amō Amās Amant is to create a visual system of learning Latin. Because the Latin language is governed by grammatical structures and syntax, this passion project teases apart the traditional methods of learning (pure memorization of word forms) and discovers patterns and visual cues that aid in the understanding of the language’s complexity. By focusing on one of the most important grammatical forms – the Latin Verb – it becomes clear that there are indeed new ways of seeing and visualizing its structural make-up.

As a visual learner myself, I always found it difficult to understand the many different parts that a single verb conjugation could have. Most textbooks lay the conjugations out in monotonous charts and expect readers to memorize each and every form and function. Thus, the verb charts in Amō Amās Amant sprung out of a personal desire to visualize all of a verb’s forms in one easy place. Although the charts require additional knowledge about Latin Verb formation and specific grammatical rules that are applied to them, they do provide excellent supplementary support for traditional pedagogical methods of teaching Latin.

Coding and decoding are integral parts of learning Latin because each translation is like a puzzle that needs to be solved. The aim of this project is to create an engaging and accessible tool for solving these wonderful Latin language puzzles.

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GOAL

Through a deep consideration of both Design and Classical Latin expertise,  this project aims at merging the study of History and Contemporary design. The goal is to create a well-designed database that clearly communicates the fundamentals of Classical Latin grammar and syntax using digital vocabulary. It also strives to inspire other Latin enthusiasts and future collaboration between the Historical and Design disciplines.

QUESTIONS

Would Professors/Teachers of Latin be interested in using this kind of project? A tool for traditional departments? What are the pros and cons of using digital tools? Accessibility? Usability? Reliability? What is the potential for this kind of design? What are the current sources for Latin research? What are some sources for further research on the topic of digital reconfiguration? What are the challenges of merging academic research and digital design technologies? What are the criticisms of Digital Humanities?

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RESEARCH 

The research for this project is focused on the influence of colour, font, scale, motion, and layout of information on scholars’ and students’ understanding of Classical Latin grammar and syntax. It will also consider the history and evolution of Classical Latin as an inflected language and how it transformed into its many forms (Classical, Vulgar, Ecclesiastical, etc.). A highly collaborative approach will be undertaken with an emphasis on semiotics, archival research, design prototyping, and a deep probing of the current methodologies and platforms that are being used to visually communicate complex languages such as Latin.