How to understand the result of ROOT search in Hebrew Bible?

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This post has 25 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 26
Martin Zhang | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, May 30 2013 3:54 PM

I watched Michael Hite's video "Using ROOTS to identify keywords in Logos 5," and found it very helpful to me. Therefore I tried to do the same thing on the Hebrew Bible. I chose 1 Sam and 2 Sam (Sorry about that, the screenshot says it is 1-2 Sam, but actually I did it wrongly. I believe that it was only 2 Sam.) as my search range. I also included the adverbs. Therefore the searching command is "@N OR @V OR @J OR @D."

The problem is that I don't understand the result.

1. why there is "-" in the first row? There are 1273 results with all different kinds of words. Is this Maqqef? And if it is, what are the words listed in this group? I checked "David" in the first reference 2 Sam 1:1, there is no Maqqef connected to "David" in the Hebrew Bible.

2. What do the numbers mean before some of the Hebrew words? Do they mean words in the same root form but are different roots?

3. why the Hebrew word mlk occurs twice, one without any vowel point (root form), one in the form of the noun (king)? If we expand the root form, we see the the noun form is already included here.

I hope my questions are clear with the help of the pictures. 

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 30 2013 7:10 PM

Your results are for 2 Sam.

Yongle Zhang:
1. why there is "-" in the first row? There are 1273 results with all different kinds of words. Is this Maqqef? And if it is, what are the words listed in this group? I checked "David" in the first reference 2 Sam 1:1, there is no Maqqef connected to "David" in the Hebrew Bible.

There is no Root for these results, but I can't say why.

Yongle Zhang:
2. What do the numbers mean before some of the Hebrew words? Do they mean words in the same root form but are different roots?

It is a way to distinguish homonyms, or the same word with different meanings.

Yongle Zhang:
3. why the Hebrew word mlk occurs twice, one without any vowel point (root form), one in the form of the noun (king)? If we expand the root form, we see the the noun form is already included here.

someone with knowledge of Hebrew can provide an answer to this.

Dave
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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 30 2013 8:13 PM

Yongle Zhang:

3. why the Hebrew word mlk occurs twice, one without any vowel point (root form), one in the form of the noun (king)? If we expand the root form, we see the the noun form is already included here.

The mlk is the triliteral root, just a notional concept, from which melek is a derived noun, an actual word.

 

Yongle Zhang:

1. why there is "-" in the first row?

No idea.

 

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 30 2013 8:38 PM

Yongle Zhang:
why there is "-" in the first row?

A number of items have no root - proper names, particles,  ....

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 30 2013 11:13 PM

Yongle Zhang:

 

Unless I'm missing something, some of the hits under "--" look like they have roots.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 30 2013 11:31 PM

Expanding them, I don't find any with roots. Can you provide an example that I could research?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 30 2013 11:57 PM

Yongle Zhang:

 

Near the top of the OP's screen capture, I see:

יָד

שָׁנָה

אֶרֶץ

Unless I am mistaken, these ought to have roots.

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 31 2013 1:33 AM

Lee:
יָד

This is the one I show without roots in my attachment. The others similarly do not show roots in the cases detailed below the heading.

Lee:
שָׁנָה

This particular lemma is one of 4 homoglyphs - a BWS shows no root for this particular homoglyph although at least one homoglyph does show a root.

I don't know Hebrew; I am merely stating what the tools show me.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2469
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 31 2013 1:51 AM

I do know some Hebrew. From the little that I know, I think that words like שָׁנָה  אֶרֶץ and יָד have roots. I cannot explain why the tool is showing these results.

 

 

Posts 164
Niko | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 31 2013 4:43 AM

I am not that advanced in hebrew and I never conduct any searches, I just like to read BHS, so I am not sure if I can contribute anything, but

the words like hand, year, father and land are sometimes called primary or primitive nouns because of their different qualities.

One is that they do not share or are not constructed from same kind of a verbal root like mlk whose meaning is somewhat related to ruling, and it can be seen in the nouns meaning king, queen, kingship, kingdom. You can see there are three different consonants in the word earth, but as far as I know, you can not find any verb that consist of the same consonants in the same order and with the same meaning. Some of these words seem like they only have two consonant like hand and year.

But again because I never use searches I can not say if what I just said has anything to do with the search problem here.

Lee:

I do know some Hebrew. From the little that I know, I think that words like שָׁנָה  אֶרֶץ and יָד have roots. I cannot explain why the tool is showing these results.

 

 

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 31 2013 5:33 AM

Interesting. I could have sworn that אֶרֶץ has the root and seen lexicons listing it with the root. But Lasor §24.13 says that it is primitive.

I guess that must be the explanation. If so, may I suggest that it be made clear to the user by documentation. (Nowadays, even the whole idea of triconsonantal roots is not sacrosanct to linguists, people can and do think of things differently.)

Posts 568
Caleb S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 5 2013 11:01 PM

Dave Hooton:

Yongle Zhang:
3. why the Hebrew word mlk occurs twice, one without any vowel point (root form), one in the form of the noun (king)? If we expand the root form, we see the the noun form is already included here.

someone with knowledge of Hebrew can provide an answer to this.

So, I did your exact search for myself (only I covered both 1-2 Samuel). What I'm seeing is that melek (king, ruler) is listed by itself because it is considered to the root for the words that are listed under it. I go to HALOT (A Hebrew Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament) and I see that melek is the root for malkut (kingdom, realm). Same is true for the names. mlk (or malak, "to reign, to rule" etc.) is listed because it is the root word for all of the words under it. It is the root for melekmamlakah, etc. mlk is listed under mlk because it shows up in the text. Malkut is listed under mlk because of how Hebrew works. So malkut is from melek which is from mlk, which means that melek is the root noun that malkut is from, while both of those words are from the verbal root mlk. So malkut->melek->mlk.

Does that help at all?

@Lee

erets (land, earth) and yad (hand, forearm) have no known roots.

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 3:54 AM

Caleb S.:

@Lee

erets (land, earth) and yad (hand, forearm) have no known roots.

You're probably right. But I could have sworn I saw some dictionaries before with shanah and eretz listed with roots. But really the most important thing is: documentation, and transparency to the user. The user needs to know what he's getting when he searches, and why he's getting it (e.g. informing the user what lemmatization is being used in the documentation, etc.)

Posts 26
Martin Zhang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 1:01 PM

Can you explain what does "primary/primitive nouns" mean?

I looked up on NASB Dictionary in Logos, it shows:  776.   אֶרֶץ erets (75d); a prim. root; 

It is a "primary/ primitive root."

I don't know what does this mean. But it seems to be "root" for itself.

I hope Logos would show the result, using  אֶרֶץ as root for  אֶרֶץ, rather than wrapping this with other worlds under "-".

Niko:

I am not that advanced in hebrew and I never conduct any searches, I just like to read BHS, so I am not sure if I can contribute anything, but

the words like hand, year, father and land are sometimes called primary or primitive nouns because of their different qualities.

One is that they do not share or are not constructed from same kind of a verbal root like mlk whose meaning is somewhat related to ruling, and it can be seen in the nouns meaning king, queen, kingship, kingdom. You can see there are three different consonants in the word earth, but as far as I know, you can not find any verb that consist of the same consonants in the same order and with the same meaning. Some of these words seem like they only have two consonant like hand and year.

But again because I never use searches I can not say if what I just said has anything to do with the search problem here.

Lee:

I do know some Hebrew. From the little that I know, I think that words like שָׁנָה  אֶרֶץ and יָד have roots. I cannot explain why the tool is showing these results.

Posts 26
Martin Zhang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 1:38 PM

Thanks Caleb. What you said makes sense to me.

But I still have questions.

M.J. Smith said that "A number of items have no root - proper names, particles,  ...."

But there are many names listed under the root of mlk, such as Abimelek, which means that at least some proper nouns such as Abimelek do have roots.

I'm not saying Smith is wrong unless he means that "all proper names do not have root." 

Interestingly, Abimelek is also listed under 'ab ("father"), which means that Logos treats Abimelek as having two roots, namely, 'ab and melek (--> mlk).

Abimelek is listed under melek, which means melek is its root.

Abimelek is also listed under mlk, which means mlk is its root.

Abimelek is also listed under 'ab, which means 'ab is its root.

melek is listed under mlk, which means mlk is its root.

So, if we ask this question: which is the root of Abimelek? Shall we answer melek and 'ab, OR mlk and 'ab?

Can we say a root (melek) can have another root (mlk)?

Very confusing...

Caleb S.:

Dave Hooton:

Martin Zhang:
3. why the Hebrew word mlk occurs twice, one without any vowel point (root form), one in the form of the noun (king)? If we expand the root form, we see the the noun form is already included here.

someone with knowledge of Hebrew can provide an answer to this.

So, I did your exact search for myself (only I covered both 1-2 Samuel). What I'm seeing is that melek (king, ruler) is listed by itself because it is considered to the root for the words that are listed under it. I go to HALOT (A Hebrew Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament) and I see that melek is the root for malkut (kingdom, realm). Same is true for the names. mlk (or malak, "to reign, to rule" etc.) is listed because it is the root word for all of the words under it. It is the root for melekmamlakah, etc. mlk is listed under mlk because it shows up in the text. Malkut is listed under mlk because of how Hebrew works. So malkut is from melek which is from mlk, which means that melek is the root noun that malkut is from, while both of those words are from the verbal root mlk. So malkut->melek->mlk.

Does that help at all?

@Lee

erets (land, earth) and yad (hand, forearm) have no known roots.

Posts 2469
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 1:48 PM

@Martin: "Root" is a linguistic construct. It does not really represent a real word in most cases. In studies of Semitic languages, including biblical Hebrew, the trilateral/triconsonantal "root" was used for some grammatical and philological analysis.

Caleb was right in saying "erets (land, earth) and yad (hand, forearm) have no known roots" since there are sources saying these nouns are said not to have a "root", i.e. they are primitive roots. Perhaps there are other sources with slightly different views, but I would say that Caleb's point is absolutely sound.

But since it's a theoretical construct, it may not matter because ultimately what counts is: useful data, transparent data. What I think you need is documentation and a well-explained, more useful presentation of the information. Forgive me if I am assuming too much about you, but I'm guessing you're not really well-versed in philology, proto-Hebrew, Semitic studies and all that stuff, but doing a word study.

Posts 26
Martin Zhang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 2:10 PM

Thanks Lee.

So "primary/primitive root" means the word does not have root? This is fine, since it is a grammatical issue, therefore it does not have anything to do with Logos itself.

But I still hope, in terms of doing researching, Logos does not wrap all the words that are primary/primitive roots under a single "-". This is almost useless and distracting to a user. It also makes it our work more complicated. I'll explain why:

When I do this searching, My purpose is to find the words being grouped together under  their respective roots, in order of frequency. However, in this case, Logos lists 1273 words under "-", which indicates that there are 1273 words without root in 2 Samuel. What do I have to do with this?

What I would like to see is: since David occurs 288 times, it should be listed between mlk (307 times) and melek (286 times). (see picture 1 and 2 in my 1st post)

There is another "-" under the "-", which is another confusing thing to me (the 2nd picture in my 1st post).

"Jordan" occurs only 16 times, I don't even want to see on the first page of the search result. Therefore listing these kind of word under "-" is distracting. 

These words were grouped together, I have to click the "-" in order to see if there is any high frequency words in 2 Sam such as David, which makes the work more complicated.

I hope there is a way to deal rearrange the search result. For example, pretending that david is the root for the word david, then list all of these primary/primitive root words separately, rather than grouping them under "-".

Lee:

@Martin: "Root" is a linguistic construct. It does not really represent a real word in most cases. In studies of Semitic languages, including biblical Hebrew, the trilateral/triconsonantal "root" was used for some grammatical and philological analysis.

Caleb was write in saying "erets (land, earth) and yad (hand, forearm) have no known roots" since there are sources saying these nouns are said not to have a "root", i.e. they are primitive roots. Perhaps there are other sources with slightly different views, but I would say that Caleb's point is absolutely sound.

But since it's a theoretical construct, it may not matter because ultimately what counts is: useful data, transparent data. What I think you need is documentation and a well-explained, more useful presentation of the information.

Posts 2469
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 2:14 PM

Well, I have been suggesting that the folks at Logos relook their search functions.

I'm almost laughing now at how you have come out and asked a question like this, because it just vindicates some of the views I have expressed in the past.

Please, Martin/Yongle, tell the whole world that you don't know me and that you are not some kind of shill (i.e. you are not posting this to deliberately increase support for somebody's views). Smile

Posts 164
Niko | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 2:25 PM

Taken from Gesenius in Logos:

Nouns are by their derivation either primitive, i.e. cannot be referred to any verbal stem at present extant (see § 82), such as אָב father, אֵם mother (but see both words in the Lexicon; according to Stade and others אָב, אֵם, &c., are children’s words and terms of endearment, and so really primitive nouns), or derivative, i.e. either Derivativa verbalia (§§ 83–5), e. g. רָם high, רָמָה high place, מָרוֹם height, from רוּם to be high, or less frequently Derivativa denominativa (§ 86), e. g. מַרְגְּלוֹת the place at the feet, from ר֫גֶל foot.

b

Rem. 1. The earlier grammarians consider the verb alone as stem, and therefore all nouns as verbals, dividing them into (a) Formae nudae, i.e. such as have only the three (or two) radicals, and (b) Formae auctae, such as have formative letters or syllables added at the beginning or end, e. g. מַמְלָכָה, מַלְכוּת. The formative letters used for this purpose are ה א מ נ ת י ו (הֶֽאֱמַנְתִּיו), and the treatment of nouns formerly followed this order.

c

According to the view of roots and stems presented in § 30 d, nouns (other than denominatives) are derived not from the verbal stem, but either from the (abstract) root or from the still undefined stem. In the following pages, however, the arrangement according to the verbal stem is retained as being simpler for the beginner. Cf. § 79 a.

d

2. Compound nouns as appellatives are very rare in Hebrew, e. g. בְּלִיַּ֫עַל worthlessness, baseness. On the other hand, they very frequently occur as proper names, e. g. גַּבְרִיאֵל (man of God), יְהוֹֽיָקִים (Yahwe raises up), יְהוֹֽנָתָן (Yahwe gave), &c.

§ 82. Primitive Nouns.

The number of primitive nouns in the sense used in § 81 is small, since nouns, which in other languages are represented as independent noun-stems, can easily be traced back in Hebrew to the verbal idea, e. g. names of animals and natural objects, as שָׂעִיר he-goat (prop. shaggy, from שָׂעַר), שְׂעֹרָה barley (prop. prickly, also from שָׂעַר), חֲסִידָה stork (prop. pia, sc. avis), זָהָב gold (from זָהַב=צָהַב to shine, to be yellow). Thus there remain only a few nouns, e. g. several names of members of the body in men or beasts, to which a corresponding verbal stem cannot be assigned at all, or at any rate only indirectly (from other Semitic dialects), as קֶ֫רֶן horn, עַ֫יִן eye.

This article can also illuminate the question:

http://www.joshuafox.com/philology_articles/Fox-Isolated.pdf

Posts 26
Martin Zhang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 6 2013 3:30 PM

@Lee

Haha...

I'm glad that I bring you joy.

I just bought Logos weeks ago, and am beginning to use it. These features are awesome. I was just confused by the search results. 

It is good to know that you have suggested them before, which means my questions although seem funny in some way, are still meaningful.

I hope Logos staff will see the suggestions and make the software better.

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