I was recently dispatched to Melbourne to visit Frank Andersen and Dean Forbes. One of the things I was assigned to discover — other than what kangaroo chili tastes like* — was the underlying linguistic/textual/grammatical philosophy of the Andersen-Forbes database (hereafter, A-F). Sure, they’ve marked the entire Hebrew Bible for syntax, but what exactly does that mean?
http://blog.logos.com/archives/2005/11/syntax_andersen.html Consider the simple graph to the right. A graph, you will recall, is a diagram made up of labels and lines. This particular graph has some further special characteristics: (1) This is a directed graph, because the lines are arrows that indicate which labels are “on top,” so to speak; if this were a corporate organization chart, the arrows would always point from manager to employee. (2) This graph is acyclic, which is a fancy word meaning “no cycles,” which is a fancy way of saying that if you follow the arrows in the direction they are pointing, you will never visit the same label twice. Put another way, if no matter where you start, you will eventually reach the end. (3) This particular graph is a tree, because it has exactly one topmost label (the CEO in our org chart), and each label has one and only one arrow that points to it. That is, each employee has only one boss — wouldn’t that be nice?
I think that I shall never seea graph as lovely as a tree.
Why did we choose graphs to represent syntax instead of something else? Short answer: Because.
The long answer, however, is much more interesting: Because every method of graphically showing the syntactic form of a sentence or clause has its pros and cons. Graphs have a lot of pros, and not many cons.
Good question. For mathematicians and linguists, a graph is a diagram that consists of nodes and edges. For the rest of us, who must communicate using words that we hope others will readily understand, graphs are diagrams that consist of points and lines between them. For our purposes, any diagram that consists of points and lines is a graph.
You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging much lately. Mostly, I’ve been too busy working on the Andersen-Forbes Hebrew Syntax project. As part of that work, I recently went down to Melbourne, Australia to visit with Frank Andersen and Dean Forbes, the gentlemen themselves. It’s rare that the two of them are ever in the same room, since Dean lives in California and Frank lives half a world away in Melbourne. When we found out that Dean would be visiting Melbourne for a month to work with Frank, we decided that I should crash the party.*
Last week, I posted an article about “Word Groups” in the OpenText.org Syntactic Annotation. I promised some follow-up; and now it’s time for that.
There are obvious uses for this level of annotation in the realm of searching, but what about in just reading the text? Or in working through a passage exegetically?
The good news is that the visualization (graph) supports most operations you’re used to performing from a standard morphologically tagged Greek NT in Logos Bible Software. This article is about some of those options.
One of the neatest features supported in the next release of Logos Bible Software is the Biblical People database. It has been included in the alpha releases since the end of June, but I wanted to give everyone a chance to see it.
The example here shows a visualization of all of the biblically-attested relationships of Aaron. The graph shows everyone Aaron is related to and the nature of the relationship. Nodes in the graph are colored by gender, if known, and labeled by relationship. Every relationship is attested to by one or more Bible verses, shown at the left side of the graph. Clicking on a person’s name regenerates the graph with them at the center.
The graphs can be generated for any person in the Bible, and a specialized version of the graph is included in the Passage Guide to show all of the people in the selected passage and their relationships to each other.
Logos Bible Software is more than just an electronic version of a paper library. And it is tools like this that demonstrate how software can help you see and explore the Bible in ways you never could before.
Since Bob posted about the sentence diagrammer, I thought I’d follow that up just to let folks know that these groovy new syntax graphs we’re developing (see previous post) are able to be copied into the Sentence Diagrammer.
See? Click on each image to see what happens. The first image is a right-click and copy (the blue arrows and such indicate what is selected). The second image is the syntax graph pasted into the sentence diagrammer as a live object. Arrows are arrows; words are words. You can grab stuff and move it around.
Small disclaimer: The first graphic shows stuff like “add to general notes” on the right-click menu. At present, it is unclear whether we’ll support notes within these graph resources.
As mentioned in a previous post, the OpenText.org syntactic analysis consists of three primary levels of annotation:
- Base Level Analysis (Word)
- Word Group Analysis
- Clause Analysis
This post will introduce you to the Word Group level of analysis. If this sort of stuff floats your boat, then read on.
Searching on the name led me to a site with some other, older diagramming systems. The photo here shows Genesis 1:1 diagrammed by the Clark method. (Do we need to add support for this?)
The next release of Logos Bible Software will support flowing columns of text with user-adjustable margins and tabs. It is hard to explain but easy to use, and it is designed to support the outlining / phrasing / aligning / arcing advocated in some recent guides to exegesis. (These diagrams still support the line drawing objects, allowing you to mix shapes and flowing text.)
We are calling these “sentence flow diagrams,” after Gordon Fee’s description in New Testament Exegesis. But if you know a better or more accurate name, let us know!