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Syntax: What’s New?

There have been a number of changes and improvements to the syntax feature of LDLS 3.0 in the last couple of beta releases. To obtain Beta 7, visit the Logos Beta Download page. You’ll need to install both the LDLS 3.0 Beta 7 download and the 3.0 Beta Resources in order to get all the functionality I describe below.

I’ll start off with what’s new with the Syntax Search dialog, which can be accessed by choosing Search > Syntax Search from the main LDLS menu. The Syntax Search dialog has seen a lot of exciting changes. If you’re interested in syntax at all, I encourage you to use and abuse these new features. If you find any bugs, log onto the beta newsgroup on our news server and let us know.

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Words, Words Everywhere: Episode III

In Episodes I and II, I showed how every word in a Libronix DLS resource is a potential link, whether English or another language. I hope you’ve started going around your digital library double-clicking everywhere.

Here’s one more little tidbit: the “ubiquitous link principle” extends beyond resources. It even works in some reports!

While playing around with the Biblical People report that will ship with Libronix DLS version 3.0 I discovered quite accidentally that I could double-click a Hebrew or Greek name at the top of the report and look it up in a lexicon.

So, for example, I’m looking at Obed in the Biblical People report and want to consult my reference works to read more about him. I double-click on the English, Hebrew, or Greek version of his name to open Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, HALOT, or BDAG, respectively.

(Note: Libronix DLS 3.0 Beta 7 required; your mileage may vary depending on the resources you own and how you’ve configured your English, Hebrew and Greek KeyLinks).

These are the articles on Obed that open when I do this:

I have to hand it to the developers…they’ve implemented the concept of KeyLink-ability with remarkable consistency.

All I can say is…Click On!

Meet the Staff: Video Interviews

Way back in April 2005, before the Logos blog, Bob kicked off a series of video posts on his personal blog, touring our building and introducing some of the fine folk who work for Logos.
Those posts can be found here…


Bob’s been after me for awhile to continue the series so I’ve been taking a few minutes here and there to interrupt my fellow employees and ask them what their role is at Logos. Most of them have taken it kindly enough.

To inaugurate the continuation of the video post series, let’s start with the guy who keeps our computers running: Gabriel Powell.
Windows Media (1.9MB) | Quicktime (1.6MB)

Greek Syntax: Gaps Happen

In an earlier post, I wrote:

You’d be amazed the sorts of things you stumble upon in scrolling through the text and visually recognising similar graph structures in close proximity.

One of the things I keep an eye out for when scrolling through the Greek Syntax Graphs are gaps. If you’ve studied Greek, you’ll know that sometimes it seems like word order in Greek and word order in English have little if anything in common. So I keep an eye out for where one structure has an intervening structure. These sorts of things are called gaps; at least for the purposes of the Syntax Search dialog and underlying syntax database implementation. (Linguists have a more precise definition of “gap”, my casual use of “gap” is not to be misconstrued with that more technically correct perspective).

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Greek Syntax: OpenText.org Clauses and Word Groups

I’ve blogged about the OpenText.org Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament in the past (see the Syntax Archives).

The folks who do the work on the OpenText.org project have been doing a lot of work since I last blogged about the project, and the result is that we have a vastly updated data set. The primary new goodie is the consolidation of the Clause and Word Group information.

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Words, Words Everywhere: Episode II

Last week, I showed how every word in every Libronix DLS resource is a link. The focus of that post was interacting with English text in resources; today I want to follow up with some observations about interacting with text in other languages.

Just as you can double-click on an English word in a resource and jump to a reference work that has an entry on that word, you can also interact with Greek text in the same way.

Baker New Testament Commentary includes a section for each biblical passage discussing “Greek words, phrases and constructions.” When reading the commentary you might encounter a page that looks like this:

Some of the Greek words here may be unfamiliar to you, or you might become intrigued by a word and want to study it further. To read more about ἀσθενής, for example, double-click it and a lexicon will open directly to the entry for that word. For me, BDAG opens to an in-depth article about the word, and I can take my study in any number of directions from there.

(Bonus tip: You can open more than one lexicon the same way; just go to Tools | Options | Keylink, select the desired Data Type (e.g., Greek) and change Number of Windows to Open on a KeyLink to a number larger than 1.)

If I double-click on the word κερδήσω, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (included with Scholar’s Silver) opens instead of BDAG. This is because κερδήσω is an inflected form of the word, not the dictionary form.

ANLEX, as it is called, is worth its weight in gold for this simple reason: it lists every inflected form in the Greek New Testament…so if the word is in the NT you’ll get a hit in ANLEX. I can either consult the brief lexical entry here or double-click the headword κερδαίνω to dig deeper with BDAG or another lexicon.

Just remember…with Libronix, every word’s a link!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy reading Rick’s discussion of KeyLinking between lexicons.

Proceed to Episode III >>

Words, Words Everywhere and Every One a Link!

Libronix DLS, our digital library system, is based in no small part on linkage between texts. Today I want to introduce you to the quiet, unobtrusive links you may have overlooked.

You should care about this topic because links are one of the key features that make a digital library more than a pile of texts on your hard drive…and that sets Logos Bible Software apart from the competition.

Every user is familiar with the obvious links that appear in Logos resources: references to Bible verses, Josephus or Word Biblical Commentary; links to footnotes; or cross-links between articles in an encyclopedia.

These links are obvious because of their color. “Click me,” they shout. They are elevevated to a special status in the digital library because the author of the book gave them special status: “Here’s a pointer to the verse I’m discussing…it’s Genesis 3:1.” Blue text.

What many users miss out on—and it’s a shame, really, because there’s a great deal of utility here—is that every word of every Logos resource is a potential link to something.

Let me say it again…every word’s a link!

These are the shy and retiring links that don’t draw attention to themselves…but they may turn out to be at least as useful as their boisterous brethren.

These links are not visually distinguished in any way; they are just all the other words in a resource, set in normal black text. But double-click on one of these guys and cool stuff happens…even better, you get to control what cool stuff happens!

When you double-click on a word in a resource, the Libronix DLS knows what language the word is and seeks to open a resource that will tell you something useful about that word.

You can try this right now…open up a Bible to Genesis 3:1 and double-click the word serpent. What happens on your machine?

On my machine, the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible opens to a fascinating article on serpents in the mythology and iconology of the Ancient Near East, its appearances in the Hebrew Bible, and in later writings.

Depending on how you have configured your machine and which books you own, you might see an equally fascinating article in A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature discussing the serpent in Beowulf, Genesis B, Canterbury Tales and so on. Or maybe you’ll see the entry for serpent in Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, or The New Bible Dictionary.

If what you see isn’t as cool as you would like it to be, check out the tutorial article on English KeyLinking at Logos.com, which provides a strategy for configuring your preferences in this area. I think you’ll find it well worth the ten minutes it takes to read the article and customize for your own particular interests.

Proceed to Episode II >>

Training Articles in Logos Support Area

If you’ve been a Logos Bible Software user for a long time, or if you’re relatively new to the software, chances are the Support area of the Logos web site has some training articles for you.

The articles are broken into four areas:

  • Basic Usability
  • Original Languages
  • Reference
  • Advanced

Articles from Getting to Know Your Library to How To Use Verb Rivers to Creating Your Own Timeline can be read, referenced and reviewed.
Check ‘em out!

Syntax: Glossaries of Terminology

I know, I know, I said I’d blog about searching the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament. And I will. Really, I will. But not today.

I’ve been working on a different aspect of the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament project recently: adding glossary information to just about everywhere a clause type or syntactic force note occurs. And wow, is it cool. Really.

Because syntactic terminology is at times confusing, and because different grammars and guides sometimes use the same terminology to describe different things and different terminology to describe similar things (got that?) we knew we’d need to include glossaries with our syntactic databases. And we also knew we’d need to provide links to further discussions of terms in standard grammar and syntactic references, so we’ve included (where appropriate) links to BDF, Daniel Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, and Smyth’s Greek Grammar (a classical grammar not yet in LDLS format … but give us time!).

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Syntax: VSO, VOS, SVO, SOV, OVS, OSV

No, I didn’t just randomly press the V, S, and O keys. What these letters represent are the six possible arrangements of subject (S), object (O), and verb (V) within a clause. Several people have asked me, “How would I search for SVO versus VSO clauses in the Andersen-Forbes (A-F) database?” It’s pretty easy, actually.

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