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Studies in Greek Language & Linguistics…

Category Archives: Libraries

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

This goes in the category of absolutely (likely, anyway) excellent reference works that nobody can afford, but everybody should have. Brill is publishing their Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics very soon. It’ll be available in July at the very low price of $1100; though Amazon is already ahead of the gram with a $55 discounted pre-order price. So, I guess if you have any swing with an academic library’s purchasing plans, maybe make a recommendation and hope that your library still has the semblance of a budget.

There’s a PDF Preview available (link), too, though it looks like some of the articles have been reduced in length for the preview.

Also, at this price, Brill had really better give this set an absolutely immaculate binding.

Brill’s Product Description:

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics (EAGLL) brings together the latest research from across a range of disciplines contributing to our knowledge of Ancient Greek. The EAGLL offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of Ancient Greek, comprising detailed descriptions of the language from Proto-Greek to koine. It addresses linguistic aspects from several perspectives, including history, structure, individual singularities, biographical references, schools of thought, technical meta-language, sociolinguistic issues, dialects, didactics, translation practices, generic issues, Greek in relation to other languages, etc., and on all levels of analysis including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon, semantics, stylistics, etc. It also includes all the necessary background information regarding the roots of Greek in Indo-European. As and when, excursions may be made to later stages of the language, e.g. Byzantine or even later. The focus, however, will predominantly be Ancient Greek. With well over 500 entries on all aspects of Ancient Greek, this new encyclopedia is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers of Ancient Greek, general linguistics, Indo-European languages, and Biblical literature.

 

Logos Bible Software 5 is Here

Logos Bible Software has released the new version of their flagship project: Logos 5.

It incorporates some massive changes in datasets and built in resources while keeping much of the user experience quite similar to Logos 4. I had originally intended to have a useful post ready this evening surveying how tools for studying Greek have changed and have been improved, but prior commitments in thesis writing and a couple other undisclosed Greek projects have held me back. So that’s still in process right now (sorry). Ideally, it will be up by tomorrow. We’ll see.

The most exciting thing about Logos 5, in my opinion, is all the effort they have put into meaningful access to content. It isn’t about searching a massive number of books any more. It’s about finding useful information for specific questions. It’s about making the semantic web real within Logos. The Bible Sense Lexicon is an incredibly exciting project and a great example of creating structured and meaningful information and making it easily accessible.

I know a lot of people that work with languages at the same level I do (or higher) tend to be rather cynical about how tools for using Greek and Hebrew are present in Bible Software packages, but Logos also put significant effort into academic projects and they’re only able to do it because of the pastoral and layperson user base that they have to support such projects. Steve Runge’s Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament is an important example of this. Another is the SBLGNT. Personally, I’d rather work with them to improve how language study is done in the future than merely dismiss them. And, well, that’s what I have been doing and will continue to do so.

I’ll have more thoughts on Greek databases and changes and advancements in the coming few days (because there are some important ones), which is probably just fine. It looks like users are swamping Logos’ servers right now anyway…

Logos 4 is Finally Here

Today is a day that I have been waiting for quite some time:

LOGOS 4

Over the past few months, Logos has been kind enough to allow me to participate in the private beta testing of their (formerly) forthcoming version of their library system.

And let me tell you, it has been exciting.

The new version changes just about everything. And it’s for the good.

  • The new interface is clean and simple.
  • Window management has been completely revolutionized.
  • Library management is less time consuming & more feature rich.
  • New language tools have been developed & old ones have been redesigned.
  • New resources & new library collections have been released with new content — including several resources that make me less interested in investing in another piece of software (e.g. my own collection now has Swete’s The Old Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint including the apparatus).

Interface & Window Management:

The basic interface now consists of three basic icons & three drop down menus in the top left corner:

Menus

“Home”, “Library”, & “Search” – all of which are rather self-explanatory. And “File” consists have various syntax searches, notes, visual filters, clippings, etc. that you might create as you go along. Under “Guides” we have the ever reliable passage guide, exegetical guide, & word study guide. All of which have received a nice face lift;

Organizing Windows has improved in some incredible ways. For one, it’s now possible to simple drag windows around and they resize to a highlighted area:

Windows Dragging

But probably the most exciting thing is the fact that now windows can be separated from the central program window:

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Which then results in:

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This definitely makes Logos 4 much easier to work with when using multiple programs at the same time compared to Logos 3 – or using multiple monitors (which I would love to have, but don’t).

Finally, had you set up your windows in a certain way a week ago that you want to go back to? Didn’t save it? Can’t remember exactly what it was? Well, Layouts has changed all of that:

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There’s a reason though. Anyway, it is now possible go back and pick out a particular layout that you had used a few days before, rename it, and save it as your own. Currently, I have four such layouts. Why two Layouts with virtually the same name? Well, it’s a long story.

The Library

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With Version 4, we can now both tag and rate the books in our libraries. Note that haven’t spent too much time ranking books –- Swanson’s dictionary is gets two stars. That’s not because it’s bad, just that it’s not what I would want. It’s a great dictionary for a quick gloss, but I’m very, very rarely interested in a quick gloss. Just want to put a plug in here for the slow, detail reading of lexical entries of full-fledged lexicons like BDAG, LSJ, GELS, & L&N. It gets two stars instead of one because it’s still far superior than Strongs.

Ah, but now we come to the interesting stuff in the library: new resources. Now what follows, as I understand it minimally requires the Original Languages Library, though you will need to go look at Logos’ website to double check on that. And you may have noticed it in a screen shot above:

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We finally have something to compete with (and absolutely crush!) Opentext.org’s database. These are the same trees that Andi Wu & Randall Tan discussed at International SBL this past year, as well as at BibleTech:2009 (where there’s also a PDF & mp3 available for download).

It’s doesn’t do everything. But it’s a massive leap in the right direction. For one, unlike Opentext.org, Cascadia actually recognizes that there are more than four types of constituents (Predicate, Subject, Complement, & Adjunct). Unfortunately, the treatment of discontinuous phrases is just about the same and needs work. But Cascadia brings a lot to the table:

  • Actual Phrase Structure
  • More Clause Types – the inclusion of “Verb Elided Clause” as a clause type is incredibly important – especially for Paul.
  • Recognition that, semantically speaking, copulas (e.g. εἰμί) are not predicates.

Here’s what it looks like in action:

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Now I’ve only been able to search using this new database for about a month now, but I definitely like what I have seen, generally speaking. More than anything, I’ve appreciated being able to do the same search using both Cascadia and Opentext.org together and compare the search results.

For example, ditransitive clauses have had my curiosity off and on for some time now, so I constructed this search in Cascadia using the new and improved Syntax Search Dialog (It’s similar to the old one, but now you can drag and drop, which makes it easier to use and is so cool):

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And essentially the same search in Opentext.org:

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The results were rather interesting. Opentext received more hits:

Matthew 18:8
Matthew 18:9
Mark 10:3 Mark 10:3
Luke 8:38–39 Luke 8:39
Acts 2:39
Acts 3:22 Acts 3:22
Acts 7:37 Acts 7:37
Acts 25:27
2 Corinthians 9:1
Hebrews 2:13 Hebrews 2:13
Hebrews 7:1–3 Hebrews 7:2

The first two in Matthew aren’t ditransitive in Cascadia because they both use copulas. Thus, it is the initial adjective that receives the Predicate Function rather than the verb. An adjective cannot be an Object if it is the semantic predicate of the clause.

Acts 2:39 is not ditransitive in Cascadia because Opentext.org has incorrectly annotated ἂν as a Complement, which it very much is not. And Acts 25:27 has the rather semantically empty, δοκέω, and thus the semantic predicate of the clause is ἄλογον.

Finally, 2 Corinthians 9:1 is not ditransitive in Cascadia, again, because the verb of the clause is a copula.

So why did I go through all of this?

Well, for one, we finally have a second voice beside Opentext.org that provides an extremely beneficial balance & check for determining what the syntax of the text actually is. Of the five differences in this search, four of the were the result of Opentext.org’s simplicity (which, granted, at times is a good thing). But this search also revealed a tagging mistake in Opentext as well. Doing quality research is always going to be dependent upon the quality of the data we use. And now we have a significantly easier way to confirming what is the accurate syntactic annotation.

There is more to do in Greek syntax, of course, but I’ll leave that for another time. I’m planning on putting in another proposal to BibleTech:2010 on this very topic.

I’ll leave you with this: the preface from the Cascadia graphs, just to give you an idea of where they came from:

The Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament is derived from a new dynamic treebank project developed by the Asia Bible Society. The Greek Syntactic Treebank Project is built on the basis of a computer-readable Greek grammar, with the syntactic trees (graphs) directly generated by a parser. Manual checking and corrections are stored as data in a knowledge base to guide the parser. The syntax trees (graphs) are dynamically generated from the latest version of the grammar and knowledge base, which enables continual organic improvement and growth as the grammar and knowledge base are maintained and updated.

We humbly present this preliminary version of the syntax graphs to users of Logos version 4 and look forward to improving and expanding it in the future.

Randall Tan
Andi Wu
November, 2009

Andi Wu and Randall K. Tan, Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament (Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009).

There is much, much more to say, but I hope I’ve at least given you something to whet your appetite for the time being. Logos 4 is good enough that It’ll be replacing Logos 3 for me. Most definitely.

By the way, did I mention that as of version 4, my entire library is now indexed (which times some time, but is definitely worth it) and I can search my 2000 books in mere seconds for anything?

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The Mac version of Logos 4 is in Alpha testing as we speak and will be have complete parity with the Windows version. That’s right, Mac users, you haven’t been ignored.

And did I mention at all Logos 4 for iPhone & iPod Touch is part of the deal?

Be sure to head over to LOGOS 4 to get the whole scoop and learn about new notes, clippings, handouts, editable passage, exegetical, & word study guides (or you can now create your own!). There’s so much that I could have shared, but I wanted to focus on the things that matter to me. So go, check it out: LOGOS 4.

Notes:

  • All screenshots are illustrative. Resources shown may not be included in Logos 4 base packages – i.e. you need at least the Original Languages Library for either Opentext.org or Cascadia.
  • Upgrade discounts are available for existing customers.

Other Reviews thus far:

Ricoblog,

Reuben Gomez

Steve Runge’s got a bit too.

Joe Miller

Thomas Black

Adam Couturier

Robert Pavich

Ken Morris

Chris Roberts

Why two Layouts with virtually the same name? Long story.

Academia & Libraries

There aren’t too many librarians in the biblioblogosphere. But there are a few.

I know of at least James Darlack over at Old in the New.

But the issue I’m linking to here is serious enough that it actually should concern any professor or anyone who uses a library.

The OCLC End Game

But this concern was soon overtaken as OCLC brought forth it’s Revised Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat® Records. The Policy, which turned a de facto data monopoly into a legally enforceable one, became a focus of intense debate in the library world. On the one side just about every library blogger with a keyboard, and eventually a review board at the ACRL/ARL, raised questions about the idea of anyone “owning” records meant for sharing and most frequently produced by government entities. On the other side, OCLC’s defenders (in truth, mostly employees), talked of OCLC’s “curation” of community content, of “protecting members’ investment,” of the “best interest of libraries,” “OCLC’s public purposes” and of WorldCat.com’s role as an essential “switching mechanism” to local catalog

The move casts new light on its Policy defenses. OCLC isn’t “curating” library records; it’s leveraging them to enter a new market. It wasn’t “protecting members’ investment,” it was investing members’ money, intended to support OCLC’s core mission, to build a new service. WorldCat isn’t a “switching mechanism” to local catalogs. It will replace them.

According to the Policy, you can’t build the sort of truly “web scale” database that would make such a project economically viable. Anything that replicates the “function, purpose and/or size” of WorldCat is not “Reasonable Use.” Any library participating in such a venture would lose its right to OCLC-derived records, something that would literally shutter most public and all academic libraries in the country. When it comes to large-scale online catalogs, there can be no competing with OCLC.

OCLC & WorldCat are taking over. And its going to get ugly.

There’s a whole lot more information over at Thingology – one of the LibraryThing.com blogs. Its worth reading through if you care about the open sharing of information – which is, ironically, what libraries are supposed to be about.

Things I do when I’m not Studying Greek Part V

OR: How to fit a large number of books into a very small apartment.

OR: My library – a visual tour.

This post also responds to a question from Nick.

My wife and I don’t have the biggest apartment in the world. Its probably our second smallest. Thankfully, unlike out last place in Dallas, we’re not in a studio any more.

But its still difficult to find space for books. Over the past couple months I’ve worked to find creative places to put books. Here are a few of my solutions:

PICT0710

This is the only bookshelf that was actually in the apartment when we arrived. Its not big, but it did fit all of our language books on it. The top shelf has Greek and Latin texts and textual criticism. Some might thinks it a little over the top to own five copies of the Greek New Testament, but only two of them are identical texts and one of those two is my wife’s Greek-Latin Diglot. That’s right. My wife knows both Greek and Latin.

The middle shelf has the grammars. Last year I printed Funk’s grammar off the internet. Its definitely worth having in print. Beside it is Dr. Decker’s Greek reader. Then LaSor, Wallace, Anne Groton’s Classical Grammar, Zerwick, Machen, Goodwin, a grammar by W. Bell from 1821, Discontinuous Syntax (that I’m bloggin through), Campbell’s new book on aspect, Campbell’s 2007 book on aspect, Wong on Semantic Case Relations, McKay on Aspect, and Porter on Aspect. Then comes the Latin grammars, which are mostly my wife’s and I don’t know them as well. I’m planning on opening them up at some point.

The bottom shelf claims to be lexical, but some how How Biblical Languages Work got in there. Then we have Deissmann’s Bible Studies, Lee’s History of New Testament Lexicography, Silva’s Biblical Words and Their Meaning, Louw & Nida, Thayer (yes, it does still have value), a reprint of a 1800’s analytical lexicon that I haven’t used since college, Danker’s Shorter Lexicon, BADG (2ed), and NIDNT.

I won’t do this for every bookshelf. Moving on:

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This is my travel shelf. Milk crates and boards. My wife and I have lived in four places in the past 18 months and this is the most practical way to always have shelving. Now I repeated the middle shelf, but from top to bottom: books I’m reading/can’t fit else where, Monographs and commentaries from Matthew through Romans (Cranfield), Romans (Moo) through 1-3 John by Marshall. I don’t have print books covering the NT or OT. Note the middle of the middle shelf is nearly all on Ephesians. Of particular note is the small brown book directly to the right of  Harold Hoehner’s giant tome. That’s an 1856 first edition of Charles Hodge’s commentary on Ephesians. Finally the bottom two shelves are Old Testament and then hermeneutics. The spiral notebooks are a prepub version of Dr. Bateman’s Workbook for Intermediate Greek. Beside them are a few more random books, Dead sea scrolls, Jewish Lit Between the Bible and the Mishnah…etc.

PICT0709

This is my meager (Biblical) theology & children’s literature collection. Its not much, but I’ve read them all – well, I’m still working on Carl Henry.

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But this is our most creative endeavor. English & world literature and literary criticism above the kitchen cabinets with a pound of Starbucks Verona Blend on the left.

PICT0707

In a way this might be more creative – in that I built it myself. Its crooked and ugly, but it holds books. Actually its made completely from poorly cut scrap wood I picked up from a theater guild at the end of their play season. I didn’t have too much say it how well it would turn out because of that. Anyway, it holds linguistics books.

PICT0705

This is easily my favorite group of books, sitting on the coat hanger shelf in the front entry way. These are the oldies. My favorites are: Lightfoot’s commentaries, the Cambridge Greek Testament, Expositor’s Greek Testament, Alford’s Greek Testament on Paul’s letters, Gesenius-Kautsch-Cowley’s grammar, a one volume edition of Conybeare and Howson’s Life and Epistles of St. Paul (not the people’s edition), and a copy of Bibliotheca Sacra from 1856 – very interesting articles dealing with slavery in scripture.

So there you go. There are also random books just lying around that someone is reading too, but…you don’t need to see those too. It was fun trying to find places for everything in a 350 sq foot apartment.

Greek Texts Online

This is one of those developments that I kind of want to keep to myself, but also too exciting not to talk about.

The University of Chicago has set up a new mirror site for the Perseus Digital Library. They’re using a different Engine than the rest of the sites AND its much faster. For now anyway, telling all of you might just clog everything up!

It takes some getting used to. The set up is very different and finding your way around takes a bit, but overall its an improvement – especially the morphological tools – just highlight a word in the text and press ‘d.’

But even with a bit of confusion, I’m still impressed. Very impressed.

Perseus under PhiloLogic

But I still want to see more Loeb volumes in Logos Bible Software!

The Customer is always right

I’ve spent five years working at libraries and I’ve definitely dealt with patrons like this – though I’ve never been as blunt as our librarian hero below, he does capture the essence of several of my responses.

20080212.gif

The fact is, and most angry people who come to libraries don’t realize this, library patrons are just not customers. They’re patrons and while the customer may always be right, the patron is not.

www.unshelved.com

Librarians and Booksellers

<rant>

There is a significant difference between Librarians (even librarians who sell books like myself) and booksellers, even between librarians who sell books.

I learned this yesterday when I was told by a bookstore that D.A. Carson’s commentary on Matthew (bound with Walter Wessel on Mark and Walter Liefeld on Luke) was only worth to them $2. Its worth more like $10, maybe $15.

I also learned that the five volume set of the Expositor’s Greek Testament is also only worth $2 a volume. The selling price on Amazon is much higher (about $50, though you might mix a set for less) and you can pick up a copy of the set from ebay for about $30.

Why the drastic difference?

Bookstores and booksellers care about paper.

Librarians (and also scholars) care about information. I doubt these people would not be terribly bothered by the fact that Carson’s Matthew commentary has a total of 6 lines underlined on 3 pages. Or at least, they wouldn’t be so bothered by it that the book’s value would drop in their minds by 85%.

They would be more interested in the fact that Carson wrote a hell-of-a commentary on Matthew.

[Update] I just sold two of the books together for $20

</rant>

What have you not read?

This is a thought provoking article that my wife pointed out to me regarding books, particularly those books that we probably should have read, but have not.

“Books We have never Read”

The subject matter for the article is literature. But I think the topic is completely valid for Biblical and Theological studies as well. How many books have you not read that you probably should?

I have plenty. But then, I’m only 22. The reason I know books is that I’ve worked in a library that focused on Biblical Studies and theology.

When you live with books watching what others read, listening to what professors suggest, shelve them, read their forwards, prefaces, back covers, dustjacket flaps, you come to know books pretty quickly. You can even figure out whether a books is good depending on how it is cited in other books and articles that you have read.

I’m now working in the library at the Graduate Institute of Applied Lingustics. Its a lot smaller, but still rather impressive in terms of content.

At MBI’s library, I was known for my knowledge about books. Even though I had not read many. People would come to me for suggestions for sources because I knew what was good, not because I had read everything (though I kind of suspect that many people thought that I did read everything).

Cataloguing Your Books

Those of us who have a focus in Biblical Studies tend to have larger libraries. Personally, mine is about 1500 books, of which about 2/3′s of those are electronic editions, which leaves about 500 on my shelves. You can see my library here

One topic that I’ve seen discussed before is how we ought to organize our commentaries. Should we keep sets together or should we separate them by book? This is a serious question. Libraries tend to arbitrarily do both with some sets all together and others divided up. The library at which I work does both. The reference section has the sets catalogued all together. And in the main stacks, sets are broken up by book of the Bible. But at the same time, our library is slowly working on building sets together in the main stacks as well. So far, we’ve purchased most of Anchor Bible, parts of NIGTC, NAC, and a few others.

But most people, including myself, don’t have the luxury of owning three copies of the same set, which leaves us with the original question.

I am inclined to organize my commentaries by Biblical book and not by set or series. There is a very simple reason for this. When you’re studying a particular passage of scripture you don’t want to have to reach all around your different shelves to find the book you’re looking for. When I’m working on Ephesians 3 , its wonderful if I can have all my commentaries and monographs about Ephesians 3 all at hand so that I can pull out whatever I need.

The only exception to this is my copy of The Expositor’s Greek Testament by W. Robertson Nicoll because it’s only five volumes and they look so great together and its such a small set.

Organizing and cataloguing your books ought to be something that is practical for you. An “official” system such as LC or Dewey is unnecessary if it doesn’t suit your needs. Both of those systems are rather arbitrary. If you look at the World History section in LC, you’ll see that the little island of Great Britain has its own subclass along side the entire continent of Africa. Or perhaps slightly more ridiculous, the Balkan Peninsula having its own subclass, right before the subclass of Asia, the largest continent. Dewey doesn’t make much more sense if you look at the religion section…

My point here is not that these systems are bad, but rather they are designed for a specific type of person…those belonging to Western Civilization. If someone in Asia designed their own cataloguing system it would be thoroughly biased toward that continent and its cultures. How diverse is your library? What are your interests? One should familiarize oneself to both of these organizing systems. The only reason that MBI’s library did not switch to LC is the cost involved in the switch. LC might be more common, but currently 25% of college and university libraries and 20% of special libraries use the Dewey. That means you’ve got about a one in four chance of running into Dewey. Know both systems. That’s your safest bet.

Ephesians is:

Dewey: 227.5

LC: BS2695

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