[request] Please Support Hebrew (actually)!

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Apr 16 2015 9:55 AM

Please allow searching on Hebrew vowel points, cantillation marks, and patterns/combinations of these using wildcards. 

Just like "@" brings up the Morphology selection "dialogue", I suggest that typing "#" or "^" would bring up a "Nikkud" grid where te'amim & vowels would occupy the "Part of Speech" field. 
The vowels could be categorized according to length/family, while the te'amim would be divided by conjunctive and 4 levels of disjunctive force. 

This dialogue should be available in either Basic, Bible, or Morph searching. Combining Morph and Nikkud searches would be an AWESOME capability!

PLEASE COMMENT AND VOTE FOR THIS here.

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 16 2015 10:08 AM

Hi, Reuben. Several levels of mark sensitive searching were added in Logos 5.2. You can see a list of them here https://wiki.logos.com/Search_Matching_Commands . If your query includes the marks you want to search, they will be matched with the specified sensitivity. Just add [match accents] to your query and it should work.

We don't have robust pattern matching at this time. 

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 16 2015 10:35 AM

Eli Evans:

Hi, Reuben. Several levels of mark sensitive searching were added in Logos 5.2. You can see a list of them here https://wiki.logos.com/Search_Matching_Commands . If your query includes the marks you want to search, they will be matched with the specified sensitivity. Just add [match accents] to your query and it should work.

We don't have robust pattern matching at this time. 

Thanks for you're response Eli. The solution you offer doesn't work for what I need to do. I need (want) to create a visual filter that highlights words with a certain accent mark. In order to do this I obviously need to search for the accent irrespective of the word. I tried this both with attaching an accent mark to either "*" or "?" and in both cases got every word in the Hebrew Bible highlighted (after a LONG time). :-/

I've followed this issue for a while in multiple forum threads and came to the conclusion (which you've affirmed) that "robust pattern matching" isn't available at this time. I feel this is a serious lack that needs to be addressed. I LOVE the input method for Morph searches when compared to the competition and would love to see the same format used as I suggested in the UserVoice forum.

Thanks for considering this!

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 16 2015 11:33 AM

Eli Evans:
You can see a list of them here https://wiki.logos.com/Search_Matching_Commands .

Thousand thanks, Eli! I didn't know about this, and after some experimenting I got it to work!

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 19 2015 12:48 AM

Adding support for search accents in Hebrew should certainly translate to searching accents/diacritics in Greek as well, so ALL Sudents/Scholars of the Original Languages would benefit from this. Please support this idea by voting and spreading the word!

!שלום

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 19 2015 11:04 AM

What advantage is there in having this capability?

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 20 2015 1:14 PM
 Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :): it may even be said that in the Masoretic punctuation, and the phonology and morphology which it established, the whole of Hebrew grammar was implied.
I'm too tired right now to think straight so I'm just copying this response to KS4J for now. 

It seems to me that your citation partially answers your own question. To adequately elaborate I would need several pages, but suffice it to say that all that we take for granted in terms of grammatical/syntactical analysis is almost if not entirely based on Nikkud. Without Nikkud every grammarian and syntax guru would be almost completely lost. One might argue that we already have grammatical databases that we can consult, but you might be aware that the numerous analyses do not agree. Being able to search on Nikkud/dagesh/form combinations, frees you from the slavery of believing the grammars just "because grammar X says so." Over the past several years I have often wished to search for every occurrence of a specific vowel pattern irregardless of the word (this is currently impossible (in Logos, but not in the competition)).

As far as the cantillation mark side of Nikkud goes there are also numerous ways in which I wished to use this. One significant way (which might strike a chord in you Big Smile) is that I wanted to create a visual filter that would highlight/markup the text according to the pausal force if the cantillation mark. This would help hugely in easily visualizing where the different breaks/pauses are (some of which make a significant difference in meaning!). As you may be aware the cantillation marks serve three primary functions...1) musical 2) identifying stress & 3) syntax. It is with regard to the area of syntax that the cantillation is of most interest to Christian scholars, and that I wish to see the ability to do primary rather than secondary research. Let me find all the instances of a certain ta'am and see for myself which environment it occurs in and how it affects it's surroundings, and don't make me blindly believe those who make claims about the cantillation marks!

Sorry if this isn't coherent! I'm literally dozing...zzzzz I've been up for nearly 19 hours if that's excuse enough! Maybe in a day or two I'll find time to respond more satisfactorily.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 20 2015 1:32 PM

Reuben Helmuth:

 Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :): it may even be said that in the Masoretic punctuation, and the phonology and morphology which it established, the whole of Hebrew grammar was implied.

I'm too tired right now to think straight so I'm just copying this response to KS4J for now. 

It seems to me that your citation partially answers your own question. To adequately elaborate I would need several pages, but suffice it to say that all that we take for granted in terms of grammatical/syntactical analysis is almost if not entirely based on Nikkud. Without Nikkud every grammarian and syntax guru would be almost completely lost. One might argue that we already have grammatical databases that we can consult, but you might be aware that the numerous analyses do not agree. Being able to search on Nikkud/dagesh/form combinations, frees you from the slavery of believing the grammars just "because grammar X says so." Over the past several years I have often wished to search for every occurrence of a specific vowel pattern irregardless of the word (this is currently impossible (in Logos, but not in the competition)).

As far as the cantillation mark side of Nikkud goes there are also numerous ways in which I wished to use this. One significant way (which might strike a chord in you Big Smile) is that I wanted to create a visual filter that would highlight/markup the text according to the pausal force if the cantillation mark. This would help hugely in easily visualizing where the different breaks/pauses are (some of which make a significant difference in meaning!). As you may be aware the cantillation marks serve three primary functions...1) musical 2) identifying stress & 3) syntax. It is with regard to the area of syntax that the cantillation is of most interest to Christian scholars, and that I wish to see the ability to do primary rather than secondary research. Let me find all the instances of a certain ta'am and see for myself which environment it occurs in and how it affects it's surroundings, and don't make me blindly believe those who make claims about the cantillation marks!

Sorry if this isn't coherent! I'm literally dozing...zzzzz I've been up for nearly 19 hours if that's excuse enough! Maybe in a day or two I'll find time to respond more satisfactorily.

One wonders how the Jews got on before the Masoretes came along. You put forward some interesting generic notions, but I would like to see a few examples of how cantillation alters the meaning of a sentence. At that point, if I'm sold, then I would jump aboard. I'm aware of 1) and 2), and I check BH for syllabic stress regularly. I'm also aware that cantillation has certain syntactic roles, but I need to see it in action before I'm fully convinced it isn't merely an elaboration of the obvious...sorta like "discourse markers".

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 10:09 AM

David Paul:

What advantage is there in having this capability?

Here are a couple examples of where the te'amim make a significant difference in meaning. Since at least the one example illustrates the usefulness of the requested capability, I thought I'd post this FWIW. 

For each of the (main) examples I listed more than one English translation to illustrate the difference.

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 10:34 AM

John Hobbins lists a good number of instances of this sort of thing on his blog "Ancient Hebrew Poetry" under the rubric "silent emendation" here: 

https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&q=site:ancienthebrewpoetry.typepad.com+%22silent+emendation%22 

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 4:53 PM

I do understand the desire to search for vowel points and cantillation marks, but I'm not sure why searching for them with wildcards could be useful.

That would be like saying cued and coed have completely different meanings (which they do) because of having a different vowel, but then wanting to look for all words that have the pattern c?ed. Apart from solving a crossword puzzle, what is similar about words that match such a pattern that would make you want to look for them all together? Similarly why would it be interesting to look for all English words with the vowel pattern *ue*?

I don't know Hebrew well enough to know whether my hypothetical question applies at all to Hebrew. Yes, wanting to find only a word when it has a certain vowel pattern makes sense (akin to searching for "cued" and not wanting to find "coed" as well). But are there cases where searching for a particular vowel pattern would matter?

Anyway, it looks like you've already drawn quite a good amount of attention to this request, so kudos to your efforts (even though they were a bit annoying to some, with the multiple posts on different threads ;-) ). You've now got it up to 92 votes, which is huge compared to most requests on UserVoice. Your suggestion is 7th from the top on the second page of 47 pages of 20 suggestions each! So it's likely to be noticed now. You can relax. Smile

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 10:22 PM

I appreciate your post and presentation of the evidence for the impact of cantillation on meaning...but I have to say, I personally find the impact to be negligible, based on the examples you provided. On top of that, I am still not certain what kind of credibility supports these supposed variations in meaning. I suppose a full-blown examination of the Masoretes and their methods would be needed to get answers for some of my questions and doubts, but I'm not fully credulous that they had the critical mass of evidentiary support needed to make the kinds of claims for cantillation that your evidence posits. In other words, what evidence is there that they didn't just "make up" these imagined variations of meaning? Unless I am overlooking something, it seems rather dubious to me that a millennium could pass without the usage of such markings and then, based on verbal tradition alone, and with no tangible mechanism in existence to "attach" these minor variations of meaning to, folks could suddenly posit the existence of these ever so slightly inflected meanings. Generally speaking, people need tangible tokens upon which to affix their notions, and without such tokens, the notions tend to vanish into the ether.

I tend to give a significant amount of deference to the Masoretes' efforts, but I am 100% certain they were susceptible to an occasional error. If the theory behind the syntactical effect of cantillation is that the Masoretes just made up these rules out of thin air, I can live with that and accept it all for what it is. But if there is supposed to be a sense that these meanings are "in" the Biblical text, I must say that concept is going to need a lot of evidentiary honey slathered on it before I swallow it whole. I would be interested in hearing David Knoll's or Vincent's of BKM's views (or the views of others who might have something of value to add).

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 11:32 PM

Reuben Helmuth:

Please allow searching on Hebrew vowel points, cantillation marks, and patterns/combinations of these using wildcards. 

Just like "@" brings up the Morphology selection "dialogue", I suggest that typing "#" or "^" would bring up a "Nikkud" grid where te'amim & vowels would occupy the "Part of Speech" field. 
The vowels could be categorized according to length/family, while the te'amim would be divided by conjunctive and 4 levels of disjunctive force. 

This dialogue should be available in either Basic, Bible, or Morph searching. Combining Morph and Nikkud searches would be an AWESOME capability!

PLEASE COMMENT AND VOTE FOR THIS here.

Thanks for bringing this up and creating a UserVoice for it. I gave it 3 votes.

I have oftentimes run across cases where the te'amim make a significant difference in the understanding of a text. I think once one understands how they actually function it is pretty obvious that they are useful - they are sort of like an incredibly advanced system of commas and periods, showing you how to divide and understand the text (and at the same time used for chanting the text as well). 

Asking whether the te'amim really make a difference is like asking whether a text with commas and periods would be any different from a text without commas and periods.

This is particularly interesting when you consider that the te'amim were added around the 10th century AD (although of course they reflect a very long tradition of interpretation, as evidenced by the Dead Sea Scrolls). They are not inspired, but they do have a great influence on modern English translations, which normally follow the te'amim when in doubt as to where to place commas and periods, or how to understand the logic of the text if multiple translations are possible (even if not reflected in commas and periods in English - oftentimes the case, as the te'amim are so much more detailed than our current system of commas and periods).

That being said, the use of this feature would be mainly to scholars and users with rather advanced Hebrew studies. Most users would never have any use for it (which doesn't mean I don't want the feature!).

Maybe useful for a slightly broader audience would be searching on the vowel point patterns - this is very helpful for searching for word patterns, in a very similar way to how a Morph search is. But sometimes you want to search for a certain Morph pattern within a certain type of Hebrew word (and thus within a certain type of vowel pattern), especially in the field of linguistics. Linguists often discuss vowel patterns when talking about the development of Semitic languages, e.g. when a certain vowel pattern was likely introduced, how it contrasts or compares with the vowel patterns in other Semitic languages, how certain words have multiple vowel patterns for the same morphological form, etc. Being able to search on the vowel patterns, especially when combined with morph patterns, allows you to study this much more easily.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 11:52 PM

Fr Devin Roza:

Asking whether the te'amim really make a difference is like asking whether a text with commas and periods would be any different from a text without commas and periods.

Your comments clarify this somewhat in my mind, and I suppose there's no harm in giving people an opportunity to search this stuff if they want to, but I think I am going to be extraordinarily slow to accept that this stuff amounts to anything of significance. I have become increasingly cognizant of the fact (in my thinking, at least) that tons of what Bible readers focus on in their "studies" has next to no value in getting at the points YHWH would have us derive from His word. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, but in general, it is because we give our human curiosity far too much sway and play when we engage Scripture. We feel like we are "doing something" if we can determine what we imagine to be "important factual data" about the text, like when it was written, and what the "situation" was in which it came into being. While I don't insist that nothing of value can come from such labors, I don't think that much of significant value is derived from them. In fact, I think that in some ways more harm than good results. YHWH never says anywhere that we should chase down about 80-90% of what scholars and clergy spend their energy trying to ferret out. Not only, imo, is a great deal of it a wild goose chase, some of it, I fear, is a road runner chase...that leaves the chasers hanging in space for that slight second before the plummet ensues.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 22 2015 11:58 PM

David Paul, the way I look at it is that anything that leads to a close reading of the text can be used by God as a springboard to what we should hear from the text. The question is less what actions we are performing and more how well we are listening. I'm sure there must be some theological work in Logos I can use to rationalize that this statement is Logos-related ... perhaps reference to some Logos tools I never use because to me they are busy work?

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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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 23 2015 12:06 AM

MJ. Smith:
The question is less what actions we are performing and more how well we are listening.

I concur with this...and at the same time fear that the busy work you mention is so noisy that the still small voice is never heard in the clatter and hubbub of our close-reading "springboards".

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 23 2015 1:02 AM

David Paul:

I have become increasingly cognizant of the fact (in my thinking, at least) that tons of what Bible readers focus on in their "studies" has next to no value in getting at the points YHWH would have us derive from His word. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, but in general, it is because we give our human curiosity far too much sway and play when we engage Scripture. We feel like we are "doing something" if we can determine what we imagine to be "important factual data" about the text, like when it was written, and what the "situation" was in which it came into being. 

I basically agree with you on this - I am convinced the Scripture are there to help us to have a personal relationship with God, and everything that goes along with that. If our study of the Word of God doesn't help us with that, something is wrong. Sometimes that does happen, and it is a real danger, not only in the study of Scripture but really in just about any facet of life.

I also think that this danger doesn't mean we shouldn't study his Word, exegesis, theology, etc, just that we need to keep our eyes and heart focused on Him as we do so... even when studying the te'amim. Smile

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Alex Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 23 2015 7:43 AM

Fr Devin Roza:
I also think that this danger doesn't mean we shouldn't study his Word, exegesis, theology, etc, just that we need to keep our eyes and heart focused on Him as we do so... even when studying the te'amim.

Interesting.  I periodically have to ask myself, as I just did again this morning, whether I am worshiping God or the Bible.  I was wondering this morning, if the written word was taken away from me today, how well would I be hearing the Holy Spirit?

Longtime Logos user (more than $30,000 in purchases) - now a second class user because I won't pay them more every month or year.

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 15 2015 7:32 AM

Any chance of seeing this in L6.3?!!!!Stick out tongueWink

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 15 2015 9:59 AM

Sorry, Reuben. This is still in "idea" stage, and may stay there for a long time.

You can always tell what's coming in the next stable release by looking at the beta release notes. Since adopting a six-week release schedule, we have tended to stabilize the list of new features for incremental releases right around the second or third beta for each release. We're scheduled to ship 6.4 beta 1 soon, and what you see in that first beta (and definitely by the second or third) will be what's going in 6.4 stable. 

By which I mean: You don't need to keep asking, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" Wink

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