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View Full Version : Maximizing Use of Lexicon Browser: Cognate word groups



Philip Brown
04-11-2004, 08:09 PM
If all one wants from a lexicon is the senses and/or glosses of a given Greek/Hebrew word, the AutoInfo window is generally adequate. There are times, however, when you want more from your lexicons. Here is a way I maximize my use of the Lexicon Browser (LB).

Today I was reading Luke 10:40 and ran across periespato from perispaw and wondered whether there were other –spaw verbs and what their meanings might be. I opened the LB by right-clicking on periespa/to and choosing Send Lemma to Lexicon Browser.

Then on the LB command line I typed *spaw, and immediate received a list of words: avnaspa,w( avpospa,w( diaspa,w( evpispa,w( perispa,w( spa,w( suspa,w.
I could then look at the senses of each cognate and get a feel for the spa,w word group.

As a Greek instructor, this little exercise produced for me a great example of how etymology may mislead one concerning the sense of a word, especially in compound words. spa,w means to 'draw' (like, drawing a sword), avnaspa,w means to 'draw up,' avpospa,w means to 'draw away from,' so diaspa,w must mean to 'draw through,' right? Wrong! BDAG gives … tear apart, tear up of a possessed person breaking chains (cp. Jer 2:20) Mk 5:4; a document B 3:3 (Is 58:6); of an angry mob mh. diaspasqh/| o` Pau/loj u`pV auvtw/n that Paul would be torn in pieces by them…

One could perhaps logicize a connection between 'drawing through' and 'tearing apart,' but this is a good example of an opaque (non-transparent) compound word.

If you're looking for examples to illustrate the development of word senses or the relationships of cognate terms, the LB can be a great help. It would be rather tedious to do this with the paper BDAG!

Perhaps others can contribute the ways they maximize their use of the LB