[b-hebrew] Wellhausen

Bill Rea bsr15 at cantsl.it.canterbury.ac.nz
Wed Jan 2 16:20:26 EST 2008


Moshe Shulman wrote:-

>Verifiability is shown not of the text whose composition is unknown,
>but on known texts. One would need to have a program that worked in
>three cases: Genesis, text A of single authorship, text B with
>multiple authorships. I have never heard of anyone even considering
>doing  this type of test.

I've been away for a while hence my delay in replying. I'm sorry I can't
give clear references as this is outside my area of expertise. While not
directly dealing with authorship, for many years some scholars who studied
text families, variant readings and the like claimed that what they were
doing could never be done by computer. However, someone once took up the
challenge and applied cladistic analysis to, if I recall correctly, a
group of Scandanavian texts. Coding the data for input took a long time
but the running of the clade software only took a matter of minutes and
essentially reconstructed the whole family tree of the texts which had
been pains-takingly worked out by humans.

The problem with doing something like Moshe suggests is that unless
the software already exists and is currently used for other purposes
its unlikely anyone would devote the time require build such an
thing. Codifying the process humans go through in determining which
strand of the text a particular verse or set of verses belongs to
would be a huge amount of work.

The article at Wikipedia on cladistics is reasonable but has little
on applications outside genetics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladistics

As some people are in academia they may have access to the following
article. It applies cladistic analysis to the Bantu languages.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/d6371756465pu225/


Bill Rea, ICT Services, University of Canterbury \_
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