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Thread: search for homonym on the Hebrew word 'soap' in Mal 3:20

  1. #1

    Default search for homonym on the Hebrew word 'soap' in Mal 3:20

    Hello,

    I did a search for homonym on בֹרִית ('soap') in Mal 3:20. But it shows the occurrence of בְּרִית ('covenant') as well.

    and in the Analysis window, it shows "noun common feminine singular absolute" for בֹרִית ('soap'), and "noun common feminine singular absolute" for בְּרִית ('covenant').
    There is no expected "homonym 1" or "homonym 2".

    I search for lemma in Accordance on בֹרִית ('soap'), and it returns only two occurrence, which means Accordance does distinguish בֹרִית ('soap') from בְּרִית ('covenant').

    I wonder why...

    And, it seems BW and Acc. use different terms for the same thing. what BW calls 'homonym', Acc seems to call it 'lemma'. Am I right?
    Last edited by Martinzh; 04-23-2014 at 10:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    920

    Default

    Homonyms are words which are spelled the same but mean something different. Lemmas are the individual words with distinct meanings. So, if you search for homonyms, you should expect to find different lemmas together in the same search. If you search on a lemma, you should expect to find only the distinct root words which WTM claims belong to the same lemma. So I do not think that there is any difference in this case between Accordance and BibleWorks (though I do not own Accordance). In BibleWorks the "homonyms" have the same consonants, but the vowel pointing can be different. Does this help clarify the matter for you?
    Mark Eddy

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    Homonyms are words which are spelled the same but mean something different. Lemmas are the individual words with distinct meanings. So, if you search for homonyms, you should expect to find different lemmas together in the same search. If you search on a lemma, you should expect to find only the distinct root words which WTM claims belong to the same lemma. So I do not think that there is any difference in this case between Accordance and BibleWorks (though I do not own Accordance). In BibleWorks the "homonyms" have the same consonants, but the vowel pointing can be different. Does this help clarify the matter for you?
    Mark Eddy
    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the explanation.

    to my understanding, search on homonyms on BW returns only the occurrences of the form that has the same meaning. But search on lemma returns all the occurrences of the form, regardless of their meanings.
    For example, searching for בֹקֶר ('morning,' noun common masculine singular absolute homonym 2) in Gen 1:5. If I search on homonym, it returns 213 hits.
    But if I search for lemma, it returns 404 hits. It also includes בָקָר ('cattle,' noun common masculine singular absolute), and בֹּקֶר ('sacrifice for omens'noun common masculine singular absolute homonym 1), and בקר ('to investigate,' verb).

    It seems, search for lemma on BW = search for all the Hebrew words with the same form of root. (BW does not have the option of searching for root).

    Whereas if I click search for lemma on Accordance, Accordance does the search for "=בֹּקֶר־2" with 213 hits.
    If I click search for root on Accordace, it returns 412 hits, a few more than 404 hits. I don't know what are the other 8 occurrences. But basically, it is close to search for lemma on BW.

    Therefore, search for lemma on Accordance = search for homonym on BibleWorks, And search for root on Accordance is close to search for lemma on BibleWorks, at least in this case.

    That is why I wonder these two programs use different terms for the same thing, or we may say, they use the same terms for different things...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    920

    Default

    OK, I see what you mean. I almost never do homonym searches, so I was not aware of this problem. Apparently BibleWorks simply uses the Groves-Wheeler Westminster Morphology and Lemma Database (WTM) terminology. WTM tags some words as homonyms, so BibleWorks is programmed to search for those tags. I searched BibleWorks Help for "homonym" to discover this information. But nowhere does it explain why WTM tags homonyms the way it does. I do not know what database Accordance uses for Hebrew morphology. But I agree with you that this is at least unclear in BW, and at worst mistaken usage of the term homonym.
    Mark Eddy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default WHM homonyms

    I can answer the question of why WHM does what it does.

    Our lemmatization "standard" is HALOT (Koehler-Baumgartner). While we don't hesitate to deviate from it when we feel it is inconsistent or even incorrect, that dictionary is our starting point.

    Some lemmas in HALOT have the same spelling, and add a roman numeral to the lemmas to distinguish their meanings from one another. I would have to check, but I think HALOT does not mark a homonym if there is a difference in vowels, but treats them as separate, unique lemmas. (Which is the proper way to handle the situation, IMO.) In WHM, we add a numeral to the homonym, e.g., ")MR_2".

    Here's a blog post about how to disambiguate homonyms: http://brianwdavidson.com/2012/08/06...orks-searches/. Here's another one: http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/sho...nd-Line-search.

    Hope this helps.

    And...Accordance also uses the Westminster Hebrew Morphology. ;-)
    Last edited by CapnKirk; 04-24-2014 at 09:16 AM.
    Kirk E. Lowery, PhD
    President & Senior Research Fellow
    J. Alan Groves Center for Advanced Biblical Research

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks!
    If I understand correctly, each homonym has a distinctive lemma. They may refer to the same word.
    The difference between the meaning of homonym and lemma is: a lemma refers to an entry in a lexicon (it differs one entry from any other entry in a lexicon), while a homonym refers to a lemma that differs from other lemmas which have the same spelling.

    Therefore,
    1. search for a specific homonym (whether homonym 1 or homonym 2 or...) ==== search for the lemma. (BW is confusing in terms of this)
    2. search for all homonyms (both homonym 1 and homonym 2 and ...) is another thing. (Accordance does not have this function. BW's search for lemma is similar. It finds all the homonyms which have the same consonants, regardless of their vowel patterns or parts of speech, see the example below).
    3. search for root (any word that is derived from the same root) ==== search for all word that share the same root. Be aware that the words that have the same root may not be semantically associated. (Accordance has this function. See the example below).
    4. In research, what we what to do sometimes is to find all the words that share the same root and are semanticaly associated. Theoretically, in this case, other homonyms may not (or should not?) be included, because the other homonyms may be derived from different roots or are not semantically associated. Neither BW and Accordance can do this with one search. However, we can use the Analysis window on Accordance to manually find those lemma and launch another search for those lemmas. Therefore, Accordance does give us a helpful list by searching for root.

    I think BibleWorks' use of the term is probamatic.
    In BW, search for homonym ==== search for lemma. (Accordance does not have the option of searching for homonym, I think it is correct, because they are different ways of saying the same thing in this case).

    Search for lemma on BW and search for root on Accordance are different things.
    search for lemma on BW, it will retun all the occurrences of the words whose consonants of lemma look the same (vowels are ignored).

    For example, search for lemma on גלל on BW, BW will list all the occurrences of the first 5 entries (the 6th is an Aramaic word, which is not included). It is not the same thing as search for root. It is not search for homonyms either, because the 1st and the 2nd are homonyms (both are verbs), and the 3rd, the 4th and the 5th are homonyms (all the nouns). There are two groups of homonyms.
    Accordance does not have the same function, which makes sense, because we probably do not need this function at all. The result on BW is kind of useless, and at worst, it can be misleading!

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    BW does not have the function of searching for root (on the right click pop up window), while Accordance does.
    Launching a search for root on גלל returns 242 hits. It shows all the occurrences of the words whose root look the same, regardless of their semantic domains. This is at least helpful. For at least from the Analysis window, we can manually find out the words that are associated semantically (not just look the same in the form of their roots).
    I wish BibleWorks has similar function (or there is one but I donít know?).

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    Sorry, this post is not well organized.....I can explain more if anyone is confused...

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