whatisaword? (BR)

yochanan bitan ButhFam at compuserve.com
Sat Dec 25 11:48:24 EST 1999

>the learn-by-frequency concept seems very
>efficient, especially when the corpus the student is aiming
>to read is so limited and fixed as the Hebrew Bible.

We're agreeing 100%. I am in favor of in frequency. 
the only difference that would result would be that I would list a 
60 xx Hif`il  verb of one root "A", before listing two verbs of a 
root "B", say a 40 xx Qal "B"and a 30 xx Hif`il "B". 
The Qal "B" rated a 40, so it is less frequent than hif`il "A" 60.

>Can you design for us a vocabulary list that is arranged by
>*Biblical* frequency that is also linguistically more sound
>than extant lists
>(write it in your spare time  ;-)  

the start is outlined above. 
one caveat is that i would include passives of a word in the overall count.
thus, piel and pual would count together, hif`il and hof`al, qal and
Nif`al would usually need special lexical listing and treatment when it
doesn't occur in the Qal.  

dictionaries are one concern, frequency lists separate.

in fact, i have some students working on a learner's 1000-word dictionary
that lists each word as itself, thus, all the most common hif`il's that
made into the top 1000 get listed under 'he', and all words with clear
contextual Biblical examples to illustrate any meaning. 

>Or do I understand you correctly when I predict that you would
>not teach beginning students from memorization lists because
>it is not "natural"?

no. e.g., see above. 
but i would teach nimlat, not *malat. 
and with a hebrew context. 
and if possible with pictures, tapes, TPR, and anything else I could get my
hands on.
you've got to try to interpret me favorably.
lists are best for review, though students will 
usually pick something up 'for free' when going through them.

>Teachers can explain enough about the
>"real" nature of BH to protect their students from a
>"fictive" BH.

RB:  good. may they find new success.

Hag sameaH
randall buth

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