[b-hebrew] Karl's lexicon

JAMES CHRISTIAN READ JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk
Fri Aug 24 03:54:30 EDT 2007


Hi Karl,

I've read through your introductory comments and had a 
quick look through it and have a number of constructive 
criticisms to make. These constructive criticisms can be 
divided into two categories:

i) Programmer based
ii) Methodology based

Please allow me to first offer my opinions as a
programmer:

You write in your introduction:

KWR: One way to find entries is to copy the word to be found in the unpointed text that one is reading, copy it to the clipboard, then paste it into the find function of the word-processor that has opened this file. Another way to use the dictionary is to type in the word that one wants to look up in the find function, then hit return.

JCR: While this method is functional enough to locate 
exact words the electronic copy of the exact 
consonantal order of which is available it lacks a lot 
in the area of usability.

Also, the chosen format of your dictionary makes it 
difficult and none routine for developers to make use 
of your data and extend the functionality of your 
electronic dictionary.

If your electronic dictionary was a simple text file 
of comma separated variables it would be routine for 
me to load your data into a MySQL database back end and 
extend the functionality of your dictionary by making 
it hyperlinked and therefore browseable. Such a format 
would also make it routine for me to make your lexicon 
multilingual. However, as it stands your chosen format 
requires an element of time consuming hand work which 
could put developers off working with your data.

Now please allow me to make a constructive criticism 
from a methodological point of view. I remember you 
somewhere making the statement that your dictionary 
was designed with the student in mind and not the 
lexicographer. Then in your introduction you say:

KWR: This dictionary does not list all grammatical constructs, or Binyamim, the use of it presupposes the reader's recognition of basic Hebrew grammar. This requires the recognition of the forms, both prefixes and suffixes, because they will not be listed in this dictionary except for some irregular forms. The definite article and interrogative ה prefix will not be listed here. The prefixed ב, ו, כ, ל and מ will almost always not be listed, except in cases where the same spelling can be understood as deriving from more than one root or they are recognized as making up a noun, so again using this dictionary requires basic understanding of Hebrew. 

JCR: I have to say that I find these two statements 
incompatible. Students are often frustrated with the 
level of prior knowledge that lexicons presuppose and 
your dictionary could be made far more accessible to 
beginning students by including a listing for each and 
every attested form with possibly real life, in
context, natural examples taken from the corpus.

Progressively, I also feel that your lexicon could 
benefit from entries for bi-grams and tri-grams which 
could amply demonstrate the shades of meaning brought 
out by greater natural contexts of individual words.

With these changes I could routinely integrate your 
dictionary into my interactive Aleppo Codex reader, 
concordance and frequency charts therefore making it 
possible for a user to click on a word, bi-gram or 
tri-gram and smoothly be brought to a translation in 
the language of their choice.

James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science 
http://www.lamie.org/hebrew - thesis1: concept driven machine translation using the Aleppo codex 
http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc - thesis2: language acquisition simulation











































































































 word, bi-gram or 
tri-gram and smoothly be brought to a translation in 
the language of their choice.

James Christian Read - BSc Computer Science 
http://www.lamie.org/hebrew - thesis1: concept driven machine translation using the Aleppo codex 
http://www.lamie.org/lad-sim.doc - thesis2: language acquisition simulation
















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