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Thread: Chiasm Search

  1. #1
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    Default Chiasm Search

    Being fully aware of the fact that most scholars do not think too highly of chiasms, I'm wondering if BW could be utilized to search for chiastic occurrences, i.e. quantifiable word repetition patterns (I'm German and thus authorized to pile up nouns like that ):

    Something like .*@* ; same .*@* = verse ref. 1; verse ref. 2

    This could become quite complex, with establishing conditions like a minimum of recurring word pairs etc., but could yield interesting structural patterns.

    Word 1, Word 2 + Word 1, Word 2 = ref. 1; ref. 2

    Example: Apple, Orange; Orange, Apple = Book ch. 1:1, 4; Book ch. 5: 4, 6.

    I see the difficulty in BW spitting out 2+ related references/single hit

    John 1:1 would be a great test text.

    O.k., where is my printed manual to ponder building a search like this . . .

    Ingo
    Last edited by ingosorke; 03-21-2006 at 01:08 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Chiasm Search

    Ingo,

    Take a look at the attached GSE query and see if it helps.

    Best,

    Rubén Gómez
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks Rubén; it'll get me started.

  4. #4

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    I'm intriguiged. Please keep us up to date on how your quest for chiasm searches progresses!

    Jon

  5. #5
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    Default

    It'll be a while, but I do see the need and potential for quantifying literary structures, and this might be an feasible avenue.

    Next step: include semantic domains as eligible result parallel.

    The bigger question (outside BW forum realm) would then be what the implication and meaning of linguistic parallels is for the meaning of a text/authorial intent, etc.

  6. #6
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    Wink Chiasms are cool

    I wouldn't say "that most scholars do not think too highly of chiasms." They are routinely recognized and used by scholars. They are unquestionably a routine structural tool in biblical texts and the literary culture from which they arose. Problems arise when some offer strained suggestions. But that was not really the point of your question and this fourm is probably not the place for discussion of this part of your comments, so I'll leave it there!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ingosorke
    Next step: include semantic domains as eligible result parallel {while searching for chiasm}
    1. In the NT that might be done through use of Louw-Nida; however, until we get a semantic domain text for the OT, it can't be done there.
    2. When we talk of parallelism, we talk not only of lexical parallelism, but also of grammatical parallelism. Would it be useful to search for grammatical chiasm?

    Dale A. Brueggemann

    כִּי עֶזְרָא הֵכִין לְבָבוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַת יְהוָה וְלַעֲשֹׂת וּלְלַמֵּד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט (Ezra 7:10)


  8. #8

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    I'm still trying to get my head around how one would go searching for a generic chiasm in a concordancing program. I know it's possible to locate interesting points of similarity (as illustrated by the first search presented in this thread, above), but as to whether this can actually locate chiastic structure...I'm having a hard time picturing how that works. Is it something along the lines of:

    A. Verb [Mood 1, e.g. indicative] + Noun [semantic domain A]
    B. Negative Particle + Verb [Semantic domain B; Mood 1? Mood 2?] + Noun [unspecified semantic relationship]
    B'. Negative Particle + Verb [Semantic domain B; Mood 1? Mood 2?] + Noun [unspecified semantic relationship]
    A'. Verb [Mood 1] + Noun [semantic domain A]
    all within a 5-13 verse limit with strict word ordering and agreement specs?

    Is it possible that the only way to find chiasm is to translate a pericope and painstakingly understand it? Or is it possible that Bibleworks could actually locate a poetic device?

    I'm all ears on this discussion.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2004
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    Wink

    Point well taken, Brian. I was using the word "most" in a qualitative sense . . .

    Thanks to all for your input; another piece in the puzzle of language laws and liberties. It's a big project - to which degree can "thought" expressed in language be measured/demonstrated objectively via a search engine?

    I think any answer/approach/approximation could reveal much about writing styles, choice of words, author profiles. Words would become mathematical codes (oops, dare I use that word), so to speak. I'm not interested in Bible Code patterns on the level of the letter; just the linguistic landscape - which would include grammatical parallels as well.

    This might have great potential for synoptic comparisons as well.

    I need to become much more GSE proficient to go from here.

    In this regard,

    Don't let a fool kiss you and don't let a kiss fool you,

    Ingo

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ingosorke
    I think any answer/approach/approximation could reveal much about writing styles, choice of words, author profiles.
    Are you aware of the computing work of Radday?
    • Yehuda Thomas Radday, Genesis: an authorship study in computer-assisted statistical linguistics (Analecta biblica, 103; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1985).
    • Yehuda Thomas Radday, The unity of Isaiah in the light of statistical linguistics (Publications de l«Institut de recherche et d«histo; Hildesheim: H. A. Gerstenberg, 1973).
    • Radday, Y. T. 1986. Suggestions for standardizing biblical hebrew text analysis for eventual computer-aided processing. In Bible et informatique. Paris: Champion-Slatkine. Database on-line. Available from CSA, ATLA Religion Database.
    • Radday, Y. T. 1973. Computerized statistical linguistics and the problems of the unity of the book of isaiah. In Proceedings of the 5th world congress of jewish studies, v 4. Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies. Database on-line. Available from CSA, ATLA Religion Database.
    • Radday, Y. T. 1970. Two computerized statistical-linguistic tests concerning the unity of Isaiah. Journal of Biblical Literature 89 (S) : 319-324. Database on-line. Available from CSA, ATLA Religion Database.
    • Radday, Yehuda T., and H. Shore. 1985. Genesis: An authorship study in computer-assisted statistical linguistics. Rome: Biblical Inst Pr. Database on-line. Available from CSA, ATLA Religion Database.
      Radday, Yehuda T., Dieter Wickmann. 1975. Unity of Zechariah examined in the light of statistical linguistics. Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 87, no. 1: 30-55. Database on-line. Available from CSA, ATLA Religion Database.
    • Shore, Haim, Yehuda T. Radday. 1985. Statistical analysis of formal criteria. In Genesis. Rome: Biblical Institute Pr. Database on-line. Available from CSA, ATLA Religion Database.

    Dale A. Brueggemann

    כִּי עֶזְרָא הֵכִין לְבָבוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַת יְהוָה וְלַעֲשֹׂת וּלְלַמֵּד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט (Ezra 7:10)


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