[b-hebrew] Karl's lexicon

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Aug 25 14:36:54 EDT 2007


Dear James:

On 8/25/07, JAMES CHRISTIAN READ <JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hi Karl,
>
> ....
> Again, I cannot stress strongly enough that if you
> were to have definitions for each and every single
> word the logic of such an application would be greatly
> simplified. In the scenario of words that have multiple
> possible derivations the word could have as its entry
> whatever you feel like. You could put a comma separated
> list of possible meanings and derivations all in the
> one field. What this means in plain English is that
> everything could be held in the one table with no need
> for multiple queries or multiple tables, i.e. faster,
> cleaner and more user friendly.
>
> 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
> http://www.lamie.org/ngelta
>
>
Oy veh!! While that is doable, I guesstimate that the resultant file
would be from five to ten times as large. That would require multiple
entries for every root, noun, adjective and so forth. Further it would
be a bear to maintain, as any update or correction would require
tracking down every occurrence of a term and updating it. That's
already hard enough when dealing with synonyms. That's why I am
looking for a more elegant resolution through more intelligent
software.

Further, I don't understand your aversion to having students learn and
apply basic grammar. It has never been my goal to insist on learning
every nuance, in fact I think such learning actually gets in the way
of understanding, but a grasp of basic grammar is necessary to an
understanding of the language. A person needs to recognize when a term
is a regular second person singular imperfective verb, and how to look
up its entry in a dictionary, as well as all other regular
conjugations. I have no problem with listing irregular conjugations
and binyanim, in fact I list hundreds of them. Further I list all
words that appear only once in Tanakh, Where a term is affected by a
special context, or is found only in a certain context, I mention that
as well.

The main work I have done is figuring out the content of the
dictionary, not how to integrate it into a larger work. Getting it so
one could just click on a term in Tanakh, and the definition comes up,
would require a lot of work. It would require a list of all the forms
found in Tanakh listed in alphabetical order. Then, by hand, one would
have to list which source each form is/can be connected to. Then and
only then can you connect it to the content. If you have access to an
electronic analytical lexicon, then that could be done fairly quickly,
but it could take months, if not over a year, to start out from
scratch and redo all that work. Since a student should learn basic,
regular grammar anyways, I have made an assumption that he has done
so, or at least is doing it.

Right now I don't have time to make an analytical lexicon. I think
efforts would be more fruitful in developing a class that would teach
basic grammar and getting students into the text. Such a class will
have to teach the functions of the different parts of language, and in
the case of Biblical Hebrew, the functions of the different binyanim
so they may be recognized, even in an unpointed text.

Karl W. Randolph.



More information about the b-hebrew mailing list