G’Day, Hebrew Syntax

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.*

Frank Andersen and Dean Forbes have been working for 30-some-odd years on a thorough syntactic analysis of the Hebrew Bible, complete with word-feature analysis (ie, morphology) and phrase marker graphs of all the grammatical structures in the Hebrew Bible up to the clause level. The two of them created this database in order to investigate various aspects of the Hebrew language, and they have used it as source material for the papers they’ve written over the years.

What they have never done before is publish the entire database. A portion of their work appeared in print as the Vocabulary of the Old Testament, published by the Pontifical Bible Institute in 1989. That volume, however, had little if any syntax information in it. The entirety of Andersen and Forbes’ Hebrew syntax work simply hasn’t been widely available.
Until now …
* The flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne was 15.5 hours, one way, nonstop. All I can say is, ouch. Fortunately, the airline oversold my seat in “steerage” and moved me to business class. That’s never happened to me before, but it was quite nice. I’ve been back for almost two weeks now, and I think I’m finally over the jet lag.

Written by
Eli Evans

Eli Evans is a Software Interaction Designer for Logos Bible Software. He is responsible for designing user experiences for many Faithlife/Logos products. Eli occasionally writes the “Bible as Art” column for Bible Study Magazine. He resides in Bellingham with his wife, Olga, and their five children. He is a “Sunday composer” (Soundcloud) and has published an 11-movement suite for orchestra and choir based on Genesis 1, Creation.

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Written by Eli Evans