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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Aug 2 2015 3:33 PM

Some Instructive Searches Using Logos4

Some Instructive Searches Using Logos4

A. D. Forbes – 2 September 2012

 

This note studies one use of one part of speech, the predicative infinitive absolute (pIA). My goal is to sensitize readers to some capabilities and subtleties of searches of the A-F database using Logos 4.

I.  Simple Counts and Censuses

  1. 1.                   The Number of Times Infinitives Absolute Serve a Clausal Predicators—Let us first determine the number and locations of predicative infinitive absolute clause immediate constituents (pIA CICs) in the obvious way. We carry out the search specified here: 

                       

This search returns the number of times (190) a predicative infinitive absolute (pIA) actually appears in some clause in the Jewish Bible, along with the location of each. This count is the number of pIA CICs in the Jewish Bible. Note that this count is not the number of clauses in the Jewish Bible that involve pIAs. This is because of the way we handle ellipsis. Consider this phrase marker (PM) from Proverbs 17:12:

Note that the first CIC in the PM, the “inf abs prd / gram” node, has two mothers. That is, two edges dominate (point directly to) the single pIA CIC node. Put differently, the node is multidominated; it does double duty.[1] Because of ellipsis, one pIA serves as the predicator in two clauses. The count does not include the second clause. This is fine for most applications, but users should bear in mind this behavior.

  1. 2.                   The Number of Times Infinitives Absolute Serve as Clausal Predicators in Only One Clause—Suppose that we wish to count (and locate) the pIAs that predicate only in a single clause. We formulate the search as above, but go on to impose a restriction on the number of mothers that a pIA can have, limiting that number to one. We do this by scrolling to the bottom of the constraint menu (“Clause IC1 Specifics”) and setting the “Parent count” equal to “1”, like this:[2]

 

 

When this more highly constrained search is run, the returned count is 185. This informs us that there are 185 pIAs in the Jewish Bible that are constituents of a single clause.

  1. 3.                   The Number of Times Infinitives Absolute Serve as Clausal Predicators in More Than One Clause—Suppose that we wish to count (and locate) the pIAs that predicate in multiple clauses. We formulate the search as in 1. above, but go on to impose the restriction on the number of mothers that a pIA must have, specifying that the number be greater than one. We do this by scrolling to the bottom of the constraint menu (“Clause IC1 Specifics”) and setting the “Parent count” greater than 1 (“> 1”),[3] like this:

 

 

 

 

This search returns five places where ellipsis has resulted in a pIA doing double duty: 2 Kings 19:29 = Isa 37:30, Jer 14:19, Prov 17:12, and Neh 7:3. 

II.  Predicative Infinitives Absolute with/without Explicit Subjects

  1. 1.                   pIAs with Explicit Subjects, Ordering Unimportant—Suppose you want to find all of the pIA clauses that have explicit subjects, and that for your purposes CIC ordering is immaterial (SV or VS, irrelevant). Then you can carry out the search specified here (with no constraint imposed on “Parent count”):

 

 

This search returns 32 hits. Two of these involve ellipsis (Prov 17:12 and Neh 7:3).

  1. 2.                   pIAs with Explicit Subjects, Ordering Important—Suppose you want to find all of the pIA clauses that have explicit subjects and CIC-ordering matters. Then you can carry out the two searches specified here (with no constraint imposed on “Parent count”). To find the SV instances:

 

Six instances of SV are found: Gen 15:1, Josh 6:3, Jer 4:18, Ezek 1:14, Neh 4:4, and 1 Chron 15:22. To find the VS instances, execute this search:

 

Twenty-six instances of VS are found, two of them involving ellipsis. Inclusion of “Anything” between the searched-for-items is essential. Otherwise, if anything comes between the specified CICs, such clauses will not be found. 

  1. 3.                   pIAs without Explicit Subjects—Suppose you want to find all of the pIA clauses that lack explicit subjects. Then you can carry out the search specified here (with no constraint imposed on “Parent count”). To find the subject-less instances:

 

 

This search returns 163 instances. Added to the 32 instances having an explicit subject, this makes 195 instances in all. This equals the number of single-clause instances (185) plus twice the number of twoclause instances (10), correct![4]



[1] For a discussion of ellipsis, see our grammar book, BHGV:  F. I. Andersen and A. D. Forbes, Biblical Hebrew Grammar Visualized, (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2012), 304—309.

[2] On my Windows 7 laptop, in order for the parent count constraint to “take hold” and appear as a feature of the node specification, I must click somewhere on the search specification dialog after specifying the parent constraint, being careful not to impose a further constraint in the process.

[3] To enforce the “>” constraint, click on the blue equals-sign and then click to select “>” from the drop-down menu. In this particular case, one might alternatively require that “Parent count = 2”, since no pIAs do more than double duty as it happens.

[4] The constraint to forbid “Janus” subject complement/subject CICs is superfluous, since these CICs only occur with verbless clauses.

 

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