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Tip 3.2 KWIC Module and Prepositional Phrases

The KWIC (Key Word in Context) Module is an easy-to-use tool that provides some unique search and display capabilities. In this Classroom Tip we will use the KWIC Module to locate prepositional phrases and identify the most common objects of the preposition.

Why Use the KWIC Module for a Search?

While searches are usually performed on the Command Line or using the Graphical Search Engine, there are times when other tools can give better results. In this case, we want to find the Greek preposition ἐν and the most common objects of the preposition.

Why not use the Command Line or Graphical Search Engine?

It is possible to search for the preposition and identify the words that follow using the Command Line and wildcard characters. A Command Line phrase search of <'εν * *> would find εν and the two words that follow. The Graphical Search Engine and wildcard characters would find the same information. But it is not easy to see which words are the most common objects of the preposition using these tools.

Why not use the Word List Manager?

It is possible to import the Command Line search results into the Word List Manager (WLM), and use the WLM to identify the most common words that appear after the preposition. But it is not possible using the WLM to find where the phrase occurs. Clicking on a word in the WLM searches for that word, regardless if it is an object of the preposition or not. And it is impossible to distinguish between the first or second word after the preposition, since our original Command Line searches for two words following the preposition.

The KWIC Module overcomes all of these limitations and gives useful search results that find the object of the preposition, and that enable you to find the exact occurrences of the search hits.

Finding the Most Common Objects of the Preposition

Open the KWIC module by selecting Tools | Analyzing the text | KWIC/Collocation Table Module on the main BibleWorks men. Set the version to BNM, the verse range to Mat 1:1-Rev 22:21, and enter the word en in the Word box. Set your Left word setting to 0, the Right word setting to 2, and the Codes setting to 0. Under Options select Display Brother Text in KWIC. Press Build to run the search.

If you select Copy | Export KWIC Search to Main Search Window, the search results appear in the Search Window. In the message area of the Status Bar below the Search Window, we see that there are 2752 hits on the preposition ἐν in 2111 verses. The Collocation Table that appears at the bottom of the KWIC window shows the words that appear after the preposition ἐν. The word that appears most frequently is the article. By default the list is sorted by frequency. Click on the number 1 in the heading at the top of Collocation Table, and the results are sorted to show the word immediately after the preposition that appears most frequently. If you wish to see the list of words sort alphabetically, click on the heading titled "Word".

Click on the number 1 in the Collocation Table heading. The second word is αὐτός, having 146 occurrences in the first position after the preposition. Click on this word. The search results for ἐν followed by αὐτός appear in the KWIC window. Clicking on any of the verses in the KWIC window displays this verse in the Browse Window.

When to Use the KWIC Module

Here are some strategies for using the KWIC Module:

  • Use the KWIC Module whenever you want to find what words appear before or after your search word. Adjust the "Left" and "Right" settings in the KWIC window to suit your needs.
  • Use the KWIC Module whenever you need a concordance-like output. By using the Copy options in the KWIC window, you can create your own concordance entries and copy them to the BibleWorks Editor or a word processor. Adjust the "Left" and "Right" settings to provide the amount of context you desire.
  • Use the KWIC Module to gain a better understanding of how a word in a passage may be used elsewhere in a version. The fastest way to access the KWIC Module is to place your cursor over the word in the Browse Window, then click the right button on your mouse to open the context menu. Select one of the KWIC search options on the context menu to search on that word.


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