[b-hebrew] lexicography

Trevor Peterson 06peterson at cua.edu
Sun Nov 16 13:23:03 EST 2003


Clay wrote:
> 
> Yes, and a certain percentage of the time this appears to 
> work with words where there is sufficient usage data to 
> determine meaning. But this is a shot in the dark with 
> hapaxlegomona and other rare words.

It's not exactly a shot in the dark, unless perhaps we're talking about
a trained marksman with rather good hearing. I have not tried to say
that it can solve all the world's problems--only that it provides some
clues. The fact that derivational morphology cannot give definitive
answers does not make it altogether useless. Taken together with
contextual clues, it just might point us to a plausible understanding of
an unfamiliar word.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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