[b-hebrew] Cantillation Mark Database

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 27 05:52:40 EST 2007

Hi Gabriel,

Here's some references pertaining to the issue of the linguistic nature 
of the accents:

Churchyard, Henry. 1999. “Topics in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew Metrical 
Phonology and Prosodics.” PhD diss., University of Texas.

Dresher, Bezalel Elan. 1981. “Accentuation and Metrical Structure in 
Tiberian Hebrew.” Pages 180-208 in Theoretical Issues in the Grammar of 
Semitic Linguistics. Edited by Hagit Borer and Youssef Aoun. MIT Working 
Papers in Linguistics 3. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of 

Dresher, Bezalel Elan. 1994. “The Prosodic Basis of the Tiberian Hebrew 
System of Accents.” Language 70: 1-52.

Dresher, Bezalel Elan. In press. “The Word in Tiberian Hebrew.” In The 
Nature of the Word: Essays in Honor of Paul Kiparsky. Edited by Kristin 
Hanson and Sharob Inkelas. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 

Hope something's useful.

David Kummerow.

> Yitzhak,
> Thank you for the, um, encouragement.
> I am a linguist and technical writer, not a
> mathematician and programmer, which is why I have
> approached this project ass-backwards, if I may use
> that phrase on this list. I imagined the program I
> wanted, then wrote the documentation as if it already
> existed, including mock screen shots and all. I
> understand that this may not be the most efficient way
> of doing things, but I had little choice.
> Cantillation marks may indeed be linguistic data, or
> not. Literary texts often contain other kinds of
> semiotic data, images, musical notes, etc., generally
> referred to as metatext. I have retained the only two
> comprehensive theories of cantillation marks that I
> could find, rabbinical semantic and syntactic
> analysis, and an alternative theory that considers
> cantillation marks to be a system of musical notation.
> Cantillizer will allow users to do traditional parsing
> as well as set the whole Bible to music. It will
> provide statistical and distributional analysis of all
> cantillation marks, independent of the text, to find
> out what patterns may exist and, if possible, the
> meaning of the signs, as if they were an unknown code,
> which in fact they are. The data can then be
> reinterpreted in conjunction with the text.
> I have been thinking about cantillation marks for
> three years, so I am in this for the long haul. I have
> already found one musician/programmer, so I am sure I
> will find a CTO for the project.
> Best Regards.
> Gabriel

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