Saturday, May 23, 2015

An example of domain analysis

This process of deciding semantic domains is long and difficult. It will continue to occupy some time in this project as long as the project continues. But it is a bit of a rest for the mind - searching for the right place(s) for a word stem. I can add domains and subdomains just by naming them. I can move individual words into multiple domains depending on what role they play in the sentence.

There are lots of words. I am working with about 60,000 of about 300,000 words in the Hebrew Bible. Eventually, if I complete the project, I will have all of them in various slots. How many slots, you might wonder. Notice that in the first 60,000 words, there are only currently about 2250 distinct stems. Some stems are content, some are grammar. Many have multiple meanings - i.e. they are homonyms in Hebrew - really they are different words, but they sound similar or at least have the same stem. Some are 100% in one domain always, though I may chose to translate them with multiple synonyms in English. Best to look at an example.

The picture shows that I have 8 domains at the highest level. 21% of the words so far are grammar only. Form rather than content. Creation is selected in this example. I have at present about 20 subdomains for this domain. One word that appears under it is highlighted in the list in the middle, תחת or TXT in my transcription (I manipulate Hebrew in the database by transcription to Latin characters. Far easier than messing with Unicode.) תחת operates in three domains, even though it has no homonyms that I know of yet. Its basic meaning is as a preposition under, or instead of. Prepositions are notoriously hard to translate consistently. They seem to be used in many ways and often a verb implies the preposition or requires it to render a word into English. Another subdomain that this word fits into is Pronoun. It is still a preposition, but because it is combined with a pronoun, I let the pronoun subdomain take precedence. It is easy enough to see (both on the page and in the computer) that this is more than a pronoun. I have this sort of logic coded into my grammatical form recognition software, another tool that is evolving in this project. A third subdomain I have for תחת is related to Distance. It can have the sense of 'beyond'. I wonder if I should combine Distance with Measure - not sure at this point.

In the middle left, I can adjust the domain and the stem with a few well placed clicks. Not all my words have the right stem yet, and about 400 or so are unassigned. It is not always easy to derive the stem from the word. As I add new chapters, the software examines each word and makes a best guess. I could spend more time on the stem recognition logic, but the more data I have, the more accurate it becomes anyway. I wrote that logic several years ago and I know I would not take the same approach today.

You might ask, Should you have a greater hierarchical depth to your analysis? Possibly, but look how much is reduced by the concept of stem - from 60,000 words to just under 2250 stems. Psalms with about 20,000 words uses about 1350 of these stems. 3 times the number and we have only added 900 new stems. How many more will there be? Perhaps as many as 4000 stems. Can one handle 4000 stems with a two-level hierarchy? If there were 20 domains, and 20 subdomains, then there would be only 10 stems in each subdomain. So if there were only 9 domains (stretching the human mind) and 25 subdomains, but wait... 21% of the stems are Grammar and this has 9 subdomains. So drop 21% of 4000 from consideration. Then 8 domains with 20 stems each would have an average stem count of (4000-840) = (8*20*x), x = 19.75. A two level hierarchy governs quite handily.

This is one of a half-dozen screens that I use to control my reading project.

Semantic Domain page constructed using GX-LEAF, Live Enterprise Accountability Framework.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Job's response to Eliphaz, chapters 6 and 7

You remember Eliphaz? Probably not because I got his name wrong (now fixed). He is the one who delivered the first speech to Job in chapters 4 and 5. Six years ago when I first studied this book I asked,  Eliphaz - how will we hear you? Are you really God's fine gold, or are you dispensing something else?

Job thinks he is dispensing something else as is evident from his response in the next two chapters.

I spent weeks on these two chapters 6 years ago and several posts. Here they are redone in one chunk. I made this note: O my heart - this is difficult stuff - Tur Sinai has pages of explanation on spittle and poison which I must yet read - a fate almost worse than Job's.

I have paid little attention to commentaries this time round. There may be time for such learning again some other day - but this time, I am just reading and reporting using the semi-automated translation that my software is getting better and better at. Sometimes it gets more than half a verse more or less readable. It frees me to think more about the words.

Note how liability is used in the following - it is the familiar word, bear, lift up, נשא. Job asks - why don't you just bear my transgression. This verb frames the two chapters. Not a bad question. The final repeating word in chapter 6 is injustice.

In chapter 6, Job responds to Eliphaz, in chapter 7 he comes to focus on four questions. You can see them towards the end - four repetitions of why/how, variations of מה. This passage mimics Psalm 8 and Psalm 144 (but no two of them have exactly the same words).
Job 6 and 7
וַיַּ֥עַן אִיּ֗וֹב וַיֹּאמַֽר 1 And Job answered and said,
ל֗וּ שָׁק֣וֹל יִשָּׁקֵ֣ל כַּעְשִׂ֑י
וְ֝הַוָּתִ֗י בְּֽמֹאזְנַ֥יִם יִשְׂאוּ־יָֽחַד
2 If only my grief were assessed and appraised,
and my calamity in the balance lifted up as one.
כִּֽי־עַתָּ֗ה מֵח֣וֹל יַמִּ֣ים יִכְבָּ֑ד
עַל־כֵּ֝֗ן דְּבָרַ֥י לָֽעוּ
3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the seas,
therefore my words are a gasp.
כִּ֤י חִצֵּ֪י שַׁדַּ֡י עִמָּדִ֗י אֲשֶׁ֣ר חֲ֭מָתָם שֹׁתָ֣ה רוּחִ֑י
בִּעוּתֵ֖י אֱל֣וֹהַּ יַֽעַרְכֽוּנִי
4 For the arrows of the Sufficient are against me, where their poison drinks my spirit.
The alarms of God have rearranged me.
הֲיִֽנְהַק־פֶּ֥רֶא עֲלֵי־דֶ֑שֶׁא
אִ֥ם יִגְעֶה־שּׁ֝֗וֹר עַל־בְּלִילֽוֹ
5 Does it bray - a wild ass over its verdant herbs?
If an ox lows over its fodder.
הֲיֵאָכֵ֣ל תָּ֭פֵל מִבְּלִי־מֶ֑לַח
אִם־יֶשׁ־טַ֝֗עַם בְּרִ֣יר חַלָּמֽוּת
6 Can what is insipid be eaten without salt?
If there is taste in the spittle of dreams.
מֵאֲנָ֣ה לִנְגּ֣וֹעַ נַפְשִׁ֑י
הֵ֝֗מָּה כִּדְוֵ֥י לַחְמִֽי
7 What my being would not touch,
these are the infirmities of my bread.
מִֽי־יִ֭תֵּן תָּב֣וֹא שֶֽׁאֱלָתִ֑י
וְ֝תִקְוָתִ֗י יִתֵּ֥ן אֱלֽוֹהַּ
8 If my request to go would be given,
and my expectation God would give,
וְיֹאֵ֣ל אֱ֭לוֹהַּ וִֽידַכְּאֵ֑נִי
יַתֵּ֥ר יָ֝ד֗וֹ וִֽיבַצְּעֵֽנִי
9 and God would be humoured to crush me,
letting go his hand and make me gain,
וּ֥תְהִי ע֨וֹד ׀ נֶ֘חָ֤מָתִ֗י וַאֲסַלְּדָ֣ה בְ֭חִילָה לֹ֣א יַחְמ֑וֹל
כִּי־לֹ֥א כִ֝חַ֗דְתִּי אִמְרֵ֥י קָדֽוֹשׁ
10 then this is still my consolation and I leap for joy in writhing. Let him not pity,
for I have not concealed the promises of holiness.
מַה־כֹּחִ֥י כִֽי־אֲיַחֵ֑ל
וּמַה־קִּ֝צִּ֗י כִּֽי־אַאֲרִ֥יךְ נַפְשִֽׁי
11 What is my power that I should have hope?
And what is my end that I should prolong my being?
אִם־כֹּ֣חַ אֲבָנִ֣ים כֹּחִ֑י
אִֽם־בְּשָׂרִ֥י נָחֽוּשׁ
12 If the power of stones is my power,
If my flesh is brass,
הַאִ֬ם אֵ֣ין עֶזְרָתִ֣י בִ֑י
וְ֝תֻשִׁיָּ֗ה נִדְּחָ֥ה מִמֶּֽנִּי
13 If there is no help that is mine in me
and enterprise is banished from me,
לַמָּ֣ס מֵרֵעֵ֣הוּ חָ֑סֶד
וְיִרְאַ֖ת שַׁדַּ֣י יַעֲזֽוֹב
14 to one in forced service there should be loving-kindness from his friend,
and the fear of the Sufficient let him forsake.
אַ֭חַי בָּגְד֣וּ כְמוֹ־נָ֑חַל
כַּאֲפִ֖יק נְחָלִ֣ים יַעֲבֹֽרוּ
15 My kin are treacherous like a torrent.
As a channel for torrents they have passed through,
הַקֹּדְרִ֥ים מִנִּי־קָ֑רַח
עָ֝לֵ֗ימוֹ יִתְעַלֶּם־שָֽׁלֶג
16 icy mourners,
on them obscured snow.
בְּ֭עֵת יְזֹרְב֣וּ נִצְמָ֑תוּ
בְּ֝חֻמּ֗וֹ נִדְעֲכ֥וּ מִמְּקוֹמָֽם
17 In time, narrowed, they evaporate.
Hot they are extinguished from their place.
יִ֭לָּ֣פְתוּ אָרְח֣וֹת דַּרְכָּ֑ם
יַעֲל֖וּ בַתֹּ֣הוּ וְיֹאבֵֽדוּ
18 The paths of their way are tossed and turned.
They will ascend formless and perish.
הִ֭בִּיטוּ אָרְח֣וֹת תֵּמָ֑א
הֲלִיכֹ֥ת שְׁ֝בָ֗א קִוּוּ־לָֽמוֹ
19 The paths of Tema noticed.
The wayfarers of Sheba are lying in wait for them.
בֹּ֥שׁוּ כִּֽי־בָטָ֑ח
בָּ֥אוּ‬ עָ֝דֶ֗יהָ וַיֶּחְפָּֽרוּ
20 They are ashamed because he trusted.
They came to it and are confounded.
כִּֽי־עַ֭תָּה הֱיִ֣יתֶם ל֑וֹ
תִּֽרְא֥וּ חֲ֝תַ֗ת וַתִּירָֽאוּ
21 Because now you are his.
You see dismay and you fear.
הֲֽכִי־אָ֭מַרְתִּי הָ֣בוּ לִ֑י
וּ֝מִכֹּחֲכֶ֗ם שִׁחֲד֥וּ בַעֲדִֽי
22 For did I say provide for me
or from your power bribe about me?
וּמַלְּט֥וּנִי מִיַּד־צָ֑ר
וּמִיַּ֖ד עָרִיצִ֣ים תִּפְדּֽוּנִי
23 Or you help me escape from the hand of trouble
or from the hand of the ruthless you ransom me?
ה֭וֹרוּנִי וַאֲנִ֣י אַחֲרִ֑ישׁ
וּמַה־שָּׁ֝גִ֗יתִי הָבִ֥ינוּ לִֽי
24 Instruct me and I myself will be silent
and make me understand why I have strayed.
מַה־נִּמְרְצ֥וּ אִמְרֵי־יֹ֑שֶׁר
וּמַה־יּוֹכִ֖יחַ הוֹכֵ֣חַ מִכֶּֽם
25 How stilted are the sayings of uprightness.
So what does correction from you correct?
הַלְהוֹכַ֣ח מִלִּ֣ים תַּחְשֹׁ֑בוּ
וּ֝לְר֗וּחַ אִמְרֵ֥י נֹאָֽשׁ
26 Do you plot to correct speeches,
and of wind, the sayings of one who is desperate?
אַף־עַל־יָת֥וֹם תַּפִּ֑ילוּ
וְ֝תִכְר֗וּ עַל־רֵֽיעֲכֶֽם
27 Indeed, you would fall on the orphan,
and you would gouge your friend.
וְ֭עַתָּה הוֹאִ֣ילוּ פְנוּ־בִ֑י
וְעַל־פְּ֝נֵיכֶ֗ם אִם־אֲכַזֵּֽב
28 So now humour, be present to me,
for it is in your presence if I lie.
שֻֽׁבוּ־נָ֭א אַל־תְּהִ֣י עַוְלָ֑ה
ושבי וְשׁ֥וּבוּ‪‬ ע֝וֹד צִדְקִי־בָֽהּ
29 Turn - may it not be injustice.
Turn while my righteousness is in it.
הֲיֵשׁ־בִּלְשׁוֹנִ֥י עַוְלָ֑ה
אִם־חִ֝כִּ֗י לֹא־יָבִ֥ין הַוּֽוֹת
30 Is there on my tongue injustice?
As if my palate did not understand calamities?
הֲלֹא־צָבָ֣א לֶאֱנ֣וֹשׁ עֲלֵי־אָ֑רֶץ
וְכִימֵ֖י שָׂכִ֣יר יָמָֽיו
1 Is it not the press-gang for a mortal on earth
like the days of a mercenary, its days?
כְּעֶ֥בֶד יִשְׁאַף־צֵ֑ל
וּ֝כְשָׂכִ֗יר יְקַוֶּ֥ה פָעֳלֽוֹ
2 Like a slave, it longs for shade,
and like a mercenary, it expects its work.
כֵּ֤ן הָנְחַ֣לְתִּי לִ֭י יַרְחֵי־שָׁ֑וְא
וְלֵיל֥וֹת עָ֝מָ֗ל מִנּוּ־לִֽי
3 So for me, the torrent of vain months,
and nights of misery from him, for me.
אִם־שָׁכַ֗בְתִּי וְאָמַ֗רְתִּי מָתַ֣י אָ֭קוּם וּמִדַּד־עָ֑רֶב
וְשָׂבַ֖עְתִּי נְדֻדִ֣ים עֲדֵי־נָֽשֶׁף
4 If I lie down, then I say, When will I arise and dusk be measured?
And I am sated with measuring beyond twilight.
לָ֘בַ֤שׁ בְּשָׂרִ֣י רִ֭מָּה וְג֣וּשׁ עָפָ֑ר
עוֹרִ֥י רָ֝גַ֗ע וַיִּמָּאֵֽס
5 Clothed is my flesh, maggot and grimy lump,
my naked skin congealed and repugnant.
יָמַ֣י קַ֭לּוּ מִנִּי־אָ֑רֶג
וַ֝יִּכְל֗וּ בְּאֶ֣פֶס תִּקְוָֽה
6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle,
and they are consumed at the termination of a wait.
זְ֭כֹר כִּי־ר֣וּחַ חַיָּ֑י
לֹא־תָשׁ֥וּב עֵ֝ינִ֗י לִרְא֥וֹת טֽוֹב
7 Remember that but a wisp is my life.
My eye will not return back to see good.
לֹֽא־תְ֭שׁוּרֵנִי עֵ֣ין רֹ֑אִי
עֵינֶ֖יךָ בִּ֣י וְאֵינֶֽנִּי
8 The eye of my watcher will not see me.
Your eyes to me and there is no me.
כָּלָ֣ה עָ֭נָן וַיֵּלַ֑ךְ
כֵּ֥ן יוֹרֵ֥ד שְׁ֝א֗וֹל לֹ֣א יַעֲלֶֽה
9 A cloud consumes and he walks away,
so one descending to Sheol will not ascend.
לֹא־יָשׁ֣וּב ע֣וֹד לְבֵית֑וֹ
וְלֹא־יַכִּירֶ֖נּוּ ע֣וֹד מְקֹמֽוֹ
10 He will no longer return to his house
and his place will no longer recognize him.
גַּם־אֲנִי֮ לֹ֤א אֶחֱשָׂ֫ךְ פִּ֥י
אֲֽ֭דַבְּרָה בְּצַ֣ר רוּחִ֑י
אָ֝שִׂ֗יחָה בְּמַ֣ר נַפְשִֽׁי
11 Also I myself will not resist my mouth.
I speak in the straits of my spirit.
I ponder in the bitterness of my being.
הֲֽיָם־אָ֭נִי אִם־תַּנִּ֑ין
כִּֽי־תָשִׂ֖ים עָלַ֣י מִשְׁמָֽר
12 Am I the sea or a dragon
that you put a guard over me?
כִּֽי־אָ֭מַרְתִּי תְּנַחֲמֵ֣נִי עַרְשִׂ֑י
יִשָּׂ֥א בְ֝שִׂיחִ֗י מִשְׁכָּבִֽי
13 For I said, My bed will comfort me,
and my lying down will take away my pondering.
וְחִתַּתַּ֥נִי בַחֲלֹמ֑וֹת
וּֽמֵחֶזְיֹנ֥וֹת תְּבַעֲתַֽנִּי
14 Then you dismay me with dreams
and with visions you alarm me.
וַתִּבְחַ֣ר מַחֲנָ֣ק נַפְשִׁ֑י
מָ֝֗וֶת מֵֽעַצְמוֹתָֽי
15 Then my throat would choose strangling
death over my bones.
מָ֭אַסְתִּי לֹא־לְעֹלָ֣ם אֶֽחְיֶ֑ה
חֲדַ֥ל מִ֝מֶּ֗נִּי כִּי־הֶ֥בֶל יָמָֽי
16 I refuse. I will not live forever
Leave me alone, for my days are futility.
מָֽה־אֱ֭נוֹשׁ כִּ֣י תְגַדְּלֶ֑נּוּ
וְכִי־תָשִׁ֖ית אֵלָ֣יו לִבֶּֽךָ
17 What is a mortal that you make him great
and that you impose on him your heart.
וַתִּפְקְדֶ֥נּוּ לִבְקָרִ֑ים
לִ֝רְגָעִ֗ים תִּבְחָנֶֽנּוּ
18 And that you visit him in the mornings
and every moment you test him?
כַּ֭מָּה לֹא־תִשְׁעֶ֣ה מִמֶּ֑נִּי
לֹֽא־תַ֝רְפֵּ֗נִי עַד־בִּלְעִ֥י רֻקִּֽי
19 How long till you not look at me
or have done with me even as I swallow my spit?
חָטָ֡אתִי מָ֤ה אֶפְעַ֨ל ׀ לָךְ֮ נֹצֵ֪ר הָאָ֫דָ֥ם
לָ֤מָה שַׂמְתַּ֣נִי לְמִפְגָּ֣ע לָ֑ךְ
וָאֶהְיֶ֖ה עָלַ֣י לְמַשָּֽׂא
20 I have sinned. How will I work for you, observer of the human?
Why have you set me as your quarry
so that I am a liability to myself?
וּמֶ֤ה ׀ לֹא־תִשָּׂ֣א פִשְׁעִי֮ וְתַעֲבִ֪יר אֶת־עֲוֺ֫נִ֥י
כִּֽי־עַ֭תָּה לֶעָפָ֣ר אֶשְׁכָּ֑ב
וְשִׁ֖חֲרְתַּ֣נִי וְאֵינֶֽנִּי פ
21 And why do you not assume liability for my transgression and go beyond my iniquity?
For now in the dust I will lie down
and early you will seek me and there is no me.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Walking up Mt Doug

A few shots with my new camera (Panasonic DMC ZS40). I get no kudos for the link, but I was curious about the reviews. It's a pocket size 30x zoom 18 MP. It has some manual operation but I usually just point and shoot. The Intelligent Auto setting does everything from ordinary light to backlight to night shots. It has a number of preset conditions, like sepia and black and white, somewhat funky. Here are a few useful capacities.
Here's an overall panorama of the view that we climbed to on Mt Doug using the Blenkinsop trail. Very easy to do this - all preprogrammed, just select panorama and pretend you are doing a movie.
I'm standing at the same place and this is done with the 30X optical zoom - but not the extended digital zoom - not bad detail of the cruise ship at Ogden point taken from about 7 km away.
Here's a closeup of some of the fauna - what is this? I could have taken this one with the Blackberry phone, but not the above two. And a little tripod would be helpful at times when at full zoom..

Songs of Ascents

Dr. David Mitchell's book on the Songs and with extensive analysis of the accents in the Hebrew text according to the theory of Suzanne Haik-Vantoura has now been published. I highly recommend this book if only for the delightful detective story on the ark of the covenant. You will find further details at this website.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Schmemann and Jobling, secularism and feminist readings

It is indeed one of the grave errors of religious anti-secularism that it does not see that secularism is made up of verités chretiennes devenus folles, of Christian truths that "went mad".
Alexander Schmemann in For the Life of the World, Sacraments and Orthodoxy. p. 111, St Vladimir's Press, 1973

He notes that secularism misses the Church as sacrament, but it does not miss many values that have arisen out of the religious framework that is common to many traditions. Among these he lists ethics, concern for truth, human kinship and solidarity, justice, abnegation, - in fact he says that secularists are often more passionate about these things than organized religious bodies. Even in the area of social, or spiritual 'help', he claims that the religious have to borrow the whole arsenal and terminology of various secular "therapeutics".

One criticism that he lays directly to the religious is that they have retreated into a distinction between the sacred and the profane, spiritual and material, etc, which he claims "has thus narrowed and vitiated its own message". (I would note that the distinction between holy and profane for those who are in the Anointed is sundered in the rending of the veil of the temple at the death of Jesus.)

Any changes since 1973? Or should I ask, what is the holy now that it is not confined to the Temple? Is it purely the might of the secular engine of government, of whatever stripe? Is it the monarch's person or the kleptocrat's persona or the rule-bender's might? Where is the accounting and the justice? Is there any good news?

Schmemann identifies the direction of an answer through the Sacrament of the Kingdom of God that is the Church. This might take some teasing out.

On a different topic I am reading David Jobling's 1 Samuel in the series ברית עולם, also a very fine read, exploring Hannah from a feminist perspective, and giving multiple readings of the text in tension with one another including the monarchist reading and an interesting section on Jonathan and his role in the promoting of David as King. 1 Samuel is on the horizon in my work. Its mountains may be somewhat visible in the distance. I may even postpone finishing my drafted readings of Qohelet and Job till I have more of other texts completed.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A bit of Psalm 65 punctuated

I'm not sure it is a good idea to punctuate poetry, but I'm doing it anyway. While working through Psalm 65 I noticed that verse 8 (spanning page 1-2) has no atenach. The punctuation would suggest that this verse continues the sense of the prior verse. It seems that my punctuation shows verses 7 and 8 to be without verbs. They are a list of fearful actions that God, the trust of all the extremes of the earth and remote sea, will do.

Establishing mountains is certainly fearful given plate tectonics. We could do with some soothing the tumult of the tribes.
נ֤וֹרָא֨וֹת ׀ בְּצֶ֣דֶק תַּ֭עֲנֵנוּ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׁעֵ֑נוּ
מִבְטָ֥ח כָּל־קַצְוֵי־אֶ֝֗רֶץ וְיָ֣ם רְחֹקִֽים
6Fearful things in righteousness you will answer us, O God of our salvation,
the trust of all the extremes of the earth and remote sea,
מֵכִ֣ין הָרִ֣ים בְּכֹח֑וֹ
נֶ֝אְזָ֗ר בִּגְבוּרָֽה
7establishing mountains by his power,
girded with valour,
מַשְׁבִּ֤יחַ ׀ שְׁא֣וֹן יַ֭מִּים שְׁא֥וֹן גַּלֵּיהֶ֗ם וַהֲמ֥וֹן לְאֻמִּֽים8soothing the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the tribes.1832
וַיִּ֤ירְא֨וּ ׀ יֹשְׁבֵ֣י קְ֭צָוֺת מֵאוֹתֹתֶ֑יךָ
מ֤וֹצָֽאֵי־בֹ֖קֶר וָעֶ֣רֶב תַּרְנִֽין
9And those sitting at the extremes fear from your signs,
You will cause the outgoings of morning and evening to shout for joy.

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