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Thread: Hebrew verb statistics

  1. #1
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    Default Hebrew verb statistics

    I'm new to BW and trying to learn my way around. One thing I have been unable to do yet is search for a Hebrew verb root in WTM and then find out somewhere how many times the verb occurs in Qal, Niphal, etc. I know I could do individual searches of each stem, but is there a way to see it all broken down by stem? Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bfairchild View Post
    I'm new to BW and trying to learn my way around. One thing I have been unable to do yet is search for a Hebrew verb root in WTM and then find out somewhere how many times the verb occurs in Qal, Niphal, etc. I know I could do individual searches of each stem, but is there a way to see it all broken down by stem? Thank you.
    If you set your search version as WTM, you can specify on the CL (command line) whatever you want. For example, to find all Niphal verbs, you would type --

    .*@vn*

    You might want to set your search limits to a specific book or range.

    If you want a particular verb, you would do something like --

    .amr@vn*

    The "amr" in the above would of course be in Hebrew, and in reverse order. That would give you all "amr" verbs in Niphal.

    You may have to hit the Page-Up key or the END key to get the @ sign when typing in the WTM morphology on the CL.

    If you click on the green "Tools" option under the CL and then choose "Command Line Examples" you can find many more examples for morphological searches.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 10-08-2009 at 09:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default A little more ...

    (Adelphos, thank you so much for your quick response. I have been able to do that, and the command line examples are very helpful.)

    However, what I'm wondering is if there is a way to search for a root and then look at the statistics (ex. 40x in Qal, 25x in Piel, etc.) without having to individually search. I guess it'd be like the word statistics only instead of hits per chapter it would be hits per stem.

    Is there anyway to find this without searching for each stem individually?

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfairchild View Post
    I'm new to BW and trying to learn my way around. One thing I have been unable to do yet is search for a Hebrew verb root in WTM and then find out somewhere how many times the verb occurs in Qal, Niphal, etc. I know I could do individual searches of each stem, but is there a way to see it all broken down by stem? Thank you.
    Short answer: No.
    Longer answer: Adelphos' method is the only one I know in order to have BibleWorks count the occurrences of the different forms of the verbs, namely that you have to search for each of the seven (sometimes more) types of verbs. There is no database in BW which tells you how many times a given verb is in Qal, Niphal, etc.
    Another way to find this number for most verbs would be to place your cursor over a verb and look at the BDB entry in the Analysis Window. If there is a dagger in front of the lemma, that means that BDB lists all the occurrences of the verb. BDB will list all the occurrences by Qal, Niphal, etc. So you can count them for yourself (though sometimes the same verse may be listed under different glosses, if there is uncertainty about its meaning).
    Warning: BDB and WTM do not always agree for all forms. Some forms can be e.g. either Qal or Hiphil. So counting the verses listed in BDB may vield a different number from searching in WTM. And scholars may disagree about whether BDB or WTM or neither of them is correct.
    Mark Eddy

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    Default Thanks!

    Thank you, Mark. It seems like it would be a small thing to implement, but then I'm not a programmer. Maybe it'll come up in a future release. For now, I guess I'll do it the long way! (It's still better than living 500 years ago and doing it by hand ... by candlelight!)

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    Short answer: No.
    Longer answer: Adelphos' method is the only one I know in order to have BibleWorks count the occurrences of the different forms of the verbs, namely that you have to search for each of the seven (sometimes more) types of verbs. There is no database in BW which tells you how many times a given verb is in Qal, Niphal, etc.
    Another way to find this number for most verbs would be to place your cursor over a verb and look at the BDB entry in the Analysis Window. If there is a dagger in front of the lemma, that means that BDB lists all the occurrences of the verb. BDB will list all the occurrences by Qal, Niphal, etc. So you can count them for yourself (though sometimes the same verse may be listed under different glosses, if there is uncertainty about its meaning).
    Warning: BDB and WTM do not always agree for all forms. Some forms can be e.g. either Qal or Hiphil. So counting the verses listed in BDB may vield a different number from searching in WTM. And scholars may disagree about whether BDB or WTM or neither of them is correct.
    Mark Eddy
    Mark, do you know if any tool exists, outside of BW, that would give the statistics of verb occurrence by stem, whether in electronic bible software format or in good, old-fashioned print media?

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    Others will have to chime in about other software. I use brand X only for non-biblical theological study. When I'm studying the Bible, I use BibleWorks.
    The closest thing I know in printed sources to telling you how many of each Qal, Niphal, etc. there are for each verb is Lisowsky's Kondordanz zum Hebraeishen Alten Testament. (Don't worry about the German title, glosses are also listed in English and Latin.) Lisowsky lists all occurrences of every verb in the Hebrew (and Aramaic) Bible, divided into the various categories. He does not count them. You have to do the counting yourself. (If a word occurs twice or more in a single verse, Lisowsky has a separate line for each occurrence, making it easy to count.)
    Of course, for the process of exegesis the exact number of times a word is Qal versus Piel or Hiphil does not really matter very much. Just looking at the length of the lists for the various categories in Lisowsky (or BDB in BibleWorks) will give you the general idea of whether a verb is found predominantly in Qal or Niphal or Piel, etc. And for some verbs, some Piel's and Hiphil's have the same meanings as the Qal, so that there may be more differences of meaning between different Qal verses than there are between Qal and Hiphil. So this may be one reason why nobody has bothered to make a database for BibleWorks which gives such statistics. You know what they say about statistics: "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics." Better to read the Bible than to learn statistics about the Bible.
    Mark Eddy

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    Not to promote my own BOSS program out of hand, as it were, but BOSS is a great tool for keeping track of exactly these types of things. I just did a global search on the different verb conjugations in WTM, converted them over to WTT, then imported them into the WLM, where I saved each as a IEL file, i.e., "wtt_qal_verbs.iel", "wtt_niphal_verbs.iel", and so forth.

    I then put each of these verb files, 7 or 8 or however many files you wanted to break it up into, in a Category File that I called Hebrew Verb Conjugations within the WLO in BOSS. Each file tells me how many words are in it, in this case how many verbs are in each heading, so I have instant access to all of this data.

    IOW, my BOSS program is a perfect accessory for just this type of thing, and is partially what it was developed for in the first place. For example, I can open this Category file in BOSS and instantly see that there are 9770 Qal verbs in the WTT, and so on. I can also manipulate this data in numerous ways.

    FWIW.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 10-09-2009 at 12:20 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Good point

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    Better to read the Bible than to learn statistics about the Bible.
    Mark, I concur. This is more for an academic set of assignments than for edification. Thank you for the lead on the book.

    Ben

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ISalzman View Post
    Mark, do you know if any tool exists, outside of BW, that would give the statistics of verb occurrence by stem, whether in electronic bible software format or in good, old-fashioned print media?
    A cursory attempt in Logos (verbs in Ruth) also does not yield a breakdown by stem; IOW, it would have to be done for each stem, as in BW.

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