Why aren't adjectives tagged as adjectives in the Anderson-Forbes morphological database?

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 4 2012 6:23 AM

In the Anderson-Forbes morphological database all adjectives are tagged as nouns. Does anyone know why? In the Syntax database I'm not sure if they are properly marked up or not - most seem to be classified as Qualities.

The BHS SESB 2.0 database, for example, returns 9351 adjectives in the Old Testament. Bibleworks 8 finds 9359 in WTM.

Do we know if this is something that will be fixed in a future version?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 4 2012 4:51 PM

Fr Devin Roza:
Do we know if this is something that will be fixed in a future version?

It isn't an error to be fixed, it is a difference in the linguistic theory applied.

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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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 4 2012 5:28 PM

Fr Devin Roza:
In the Anderson-Forbes morphological database all adjectives are tagged as nouns. Does anyone know why?

MJ has already noted that it relates to a difference in theory, but perhaps it should be noted that adjectives can (and frequently are) substantized.  In Greek you can have constructions such as ὁ ἄγαθος which signifies "the good man."  In Hebrew you have a similar situation.  Note Gen 1.4

וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת־הָא֖וֹר כִּי־ט֑וֹב.  Here טוֹב would be considered an adjective (and is so tagged in BHS 4.2), but this could also be considered as a noun on the order "the good man" afore mentioned—"And God saw the light that it was a good thing [the "thingness" being considered a part of טוֹב]."

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 5 2012 12:56 AM

Thank you for the replies. Here are some web pages I found on this topic:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Hebrew_grammar#Use_of_the_definite_article_with_adjectives

The case of a proper noun highlights the fact that all Hebrew adjectives can be interpreted as appositive nouns. For example, contrast the following:

  • דוד הגדול /daˈvid ha-ɡaˈdol/ (David the Great, lit. David the-great (m.sing.))
  • דוד המלך /daˈvid ha-ˈmeleχ/ (David the King, lit. David the-king)

Here is someone who thinks there is a difference between adjectives and apposition in Hebrew:

http://ralphriver.blogspot.ch/2009/09/apposition-in-biblical-hebrew.html

I incline to agree with him, especially as adjectives agree with the noun in gender and number in Hebrew while nouns in apposition of course do not, but oh well, grammar is one of the many areas in life in which we can apply the words of that famous phrase, "In essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity." Big Smile

BTW, there are about 5400 words classified by AF as nouns of quality. I haven't yet tried to figure out how they classified the other 4000 words classified by BHS 4.2 as adjectives. If anyone beats me to it please share!

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