Data and Tradition. The Hebrew Bible as a linguistic corpus and as a literary composition

Summary

How can one bridge the gap between modern computational research in language and cognition and the classical Humanities research in the individual literary artefacts from cultural and religious heritage? How can one connect philology of ancient texts and computational linguistic analysis? One can observe in the world of ICT research an increasing interest in the Humanities, going beyond computational linguistics or the digitization of literary texts. However, researchers in the area of literary interpretation of biblical or other ancient texts hesitate. They welcome easy access to digitized texts and images of manuscripts on the Internet, but they doubt how traditional methods of literary interpretation and ICT methods of linguistic analysis of text corpora could be combined. Of course, for grammatical or lexical riddles in a particular text, a database of the full corpus and an efficient search engine is very helpful. However, for the main tasks of philology one seems to have to continue the traditional way,
i.e. argue about the compositional unity of individual ancient texts, about rhetoric techniques, search for the identity of the actors in a particular text and for the historical background of its writers and originally intended readers. Thus the gap is a real one and not just a product of conservative scholarship in Humanities. How then does one proceed?
Research in recent years has produced databases of linguistically analyzed Hebrew and Aramaic texts, for the retrieval of grammatical and lexical data. We think that they now ought to be enriched further to develop more tools and try to construct a bridge. To do so it is crucial to start at either side of the gap to be bridged. Therefore, we have designed three Project Constituents. PC1 will develop linguistic methodology to be used in philology: tools and data to construct grammatical knowledge for a critical assessment of the results of current traditions of literary interpretation and translation. PC2 starts at the other side. It will develop methods that fit the complex structure of literary artefacts from cultural and religious history: instruments for the construction and storage of data of literary analysis and interpretation, both the data that can be derived from linguistic analysis of complex phenomena, and the data that in fact are proposals of scholarly reading, that is, annotations. PC3 tries to put the bridge into use. When methodologically both sides of the gap can meet and agree upon the relevant data, then the data can be applied into systems of retrieval and presentation.

Products

Scientific article

  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2010): Text Comparison and Digital Creativity. An Introduction Text Comparison and Digital Creativity pp. 1 - 27
  • E. Talstra(2010): In the Beginning, when Making Copies Used to be an Art … The Bible among poets and engineers’, Text Comparison and Digital Creativity. The Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Text pp. 31 - 56
  • E. Talstra(2011): Jerusalem’s Comforters in Isaiah 40:1–2. Participant Tracking in a Prophetic Text’, pp. 365 - 382
  • E. Talstra(2011): On Biblical Hebrew and Computer Science: Inspiration, Models, Tools, And Cross fertilization Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation: Studies pp. 261 - 276
  • E. Talstra(2011): Who Is Speaking Who Is Listening? How Information Technology Can Confirm the Integrity of the Text. In Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation pp. 337 - 359
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2011): Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation. Studies Presented to Professor Eep Talstra on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 57
  • E. Talstra(2011): Sinners and Syntax. Poetry and discourse in Jeremiah 5 En Pase Grammatike kai Sophia. Saggi di linguistica ebraica in onore di pp. 337 - 356
  • (2011): Who Is Speaking Who Is Listening? How Information Technology Can Confirm the Integrity of the Text. In Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation pp. 337 - 359
  • E. Talstra(2011): Text, Tradition, Theology. The Example of the book of Joel Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth. Essay in Honour of Abraham van de Beek pp. 309 - 328
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2011): Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation. An Introduction’, Tradition and Innovation pp. 1 - 10
  • E. Talstra(2012): Taalvariatie en theologie in Genesis 37 Genesis: Amsterdamse Cahiers voor de Exegese van de Bijbel en zijn tradities 27 pp. 107 - 117
  • E. Talstra(2012): Understanding Participant-Reference Shifts in the Book of Jeremiah: A Study of Exegetical Method and Its Consequences for the Interpretation of Referential Incoherence Studia Semitica Neerlandica 60
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2012): Changing our Textual Minds. Towards a Digital Order of Knowledge Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 66/3 pp. 233 - 234
  • E. Talstra(2012): The Role of Zion/Jerusalem in Isaiah 40–55: A Corpus-Linguistic Approach Studia Semitica Neerlandica 59
  • E. Talstra(2012): De rol van Ruben in Genesis 37: Analyse van een complexe bijbelse geschiedenis’ Nederlandse Theologisch Tijdschrift 66/4
  • E. Talstra, J.W. Dyk(2013): The Peshitta Rendering of Psalm 25: Spelling, Synonyms, and Syntax’, Foundations for Syriac Lexicography V, Perspectives on Syriac linguistics pp. 43 - 70
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2013): Participant Reference in Genesis 37 JNSL Lezingen
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2013): Participant Reference in Genesis 37 Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 39/1 pp. 85 - 102
  • J.W. Dyk, E. Talstra(2013): The Cognate Verbs FJM and FWM in the Books of Kings: Similarities and Differences Perspectives on Syriac Linguistics pp. 195 - 198
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2013): Grip op grillige gegevens. De exegeet als systematicus Inaugural lecture, VU University
  • E. Talstra, J.W. Dyk(2013): Het belang van valentiepatronen voor het vertalen van Bijbels Hebreeuwse werkwoorden Met Andere Woorden 32/2 pp. 23 - 35
  • E. Talstra, J.W. Dyk(2013): Language System, Translation Technique and Textual Tradition in Peshitta Kings MPIL 19 pp. 550
  • E. Talstra, J.W. Dyk(2013): The Hebrew and Syriac Copula in Kings Reflections on Lexicography: Explorations in Ancient Syriac, Hebrew, and Greek Sources pp. 13 - 23
  • E. Talstra(2013): Text linguistics: Biblical Hebrew Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics III pp. 755 - 760
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2013): Brug tussen data en traditie’, bijdrage aan “De springlevende wetenschap” Groene Amsterdammer

Publical information

  • E. Talstra(2010): Organisatie van de Workshop Theology & Text Analysis op de Brainstorm Meeting E-Humanities:
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2010): Text Comparison and Digital Creativity. The Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Text Scholarship, Leiden, Brill, 2010
  • E. Talstra(2011): SESB Schulung
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2011): Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation
  • E. Talstra(2011): The Analysis of Biblical Hebrew Texts
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2011): A data-base template for the International Syriac Language Project (ISLP)’, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 19-22 November.
  • E. Talstra(2011): SESB Schulung
  • E. Talstra(2011): Vertaaldag NBG en SHA Inleiding computer ondersteunde tekstanalyse en bijbelvertalen.
  • E. Talstra(2011): The Analysis of Biblical Hebrew Texts
  • E. Talstra(2011): Persuasive Learning Technology as Backbone of the New WIVU Hebrew Textbook project
  • E. Talstra(2012): Changes of Syntactic Patterns in the Textual Tradition of the Book of Isaiah’, tijdens de Workshop in het Lorentz Center Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing: Data Types, Text, Language and Interpretation in Leiden op 9 februari 2012.
  • E. Talstra(2012): Towards an Electronic Valency Lexicon: Syntactic Patterns of Motion Verbs in the Textual Tradition of the Book of Isaiah’, Expert Seminar Biblical Hebrew and Digital Databases in Madrid op 8 juni 2012.
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2012): Expert Seminar Biblical Hebrew and Digital Databases, Complutense University Madrid, 8 juni 2012
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2012): Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing: Data Types, Text, Language and Interpretation
  • E. Talstra(2012): Voordracht voor de KNAW e-Humanities Group Research Meeting in het Meertens Instituut. Over de complexiteit van de Hebreeuwse notatie en in relatie tot automatische morfologische en fonologische analyse.
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2012): Delimitation markers, chapter division, syntax and literary structure: the case of Genesis 37:1–2’, Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Amsterdam, 22–26 July 2012.
  • E. Talstra(2012): System and Design. Reading, Computing and Translating Biblical Hebrew into Dutch
  • E. Talstra(2012): SBL Amsterdam: 'Specific Patterns and Translation Proposals: On the Relation between Syntax and Significance ' (over verschillende Hebreeuwse werkwoorden binnen poëtische teksen)
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2012): How much grammar should be stored in the lexicon?’, XIth Symposium Syriacum, Valletta, 16-18 July.
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2012): Syntax and structure of Hebrew texts (analysis of sample texts)’ Workshop in het Lorentz Center Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing: Data Types, Text, Language and Interpretation
  • W.T. van Peursen, E. Talstra(2012): Changing our philological minds. Textual scholarship at the threshold of a digital order’, Expert Seminar: Biblical Hebrew and Digital Databases, Madrid, 8 June.
  • E. Talstra(2012): Bible Software on the Workbench of the Biblical Scholar and Biblical Languages Learner: Assessment and Perspective
  • E. Talstra(2012): Soc. Hebraica Amstelodamensis, een bijdrage over verbale valentie en vertalen: ‘Diverse patronen – verschillende betekenissen: de rol van de valentie van Bijbels Hebreeuwse werkwoorden’ (over het Hebreeuwse werkwoord <FH ‘doen, maken’)
  • E. Talstra(2012): Holy Texts and computers: are they on speaking terms?
  • E. Talstra(2012): Expert Seminar Biblical Hebrew and Digital Data-bases in Madrid op 8 juni 2012: 'Patterns and Meaning: The Role of Syntax in the Significance of a Hebrew Verb' (over het Hebreeuwse werkwoord FJM ‘plaatsen’)
  • E. Talstra(2012): Bijbel en Computer lezingen en presentatie, Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn.
  • O. Glanz, E. Talstra(2013): Understanding Participant-Reference Shifts in the Book of Jeremiah: A Study of Exegetical Method and Its Consequences for the Interpretation of Referential Incoherence.
  • E. Talstra(2013): The Bible as Data. Attempts to proceed from linguistic analysis to textual interpretation. The example of Exodus 16
  • O. Glanz, E. Talstra(2013): Responding to 'Corpus-Driven, Self-Directed Persuasive Learning
  • E. Talstra, R.H. Oosting(2013): The Significance of Computational Corpus-Based Valence Research for Dating Genesis 20
  • E. Talstra, R.H. Oosting(2013): Text and History of Isaiah 20
  • O. Glanz, E. Talstra(2013): The Valence of Fear: The Differences between JR<+MN and JR<+<T Constructions.
  • R.H. Oosting, E. Talstra(2013): Experimenteren met Exodus,de bijdrage van de computer aan een consistente vertaling
  • E. Talstra, W.T. van Peursen(2013): Report: Electronic Tools in Biblical Hebrew Teaching and Research’.
  • J.W. Dyk, O. Glanz, E. Talstra(2014): Analyzing Valence Patterns in Biblical Hebrew: Theoretical questions And Analytic Frameworks’

Details

Project number

380-25-003

Main applicant

Prof. dr. E. Talstra

Affiliated with

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid

Duration

01/07/2010 to 02/11/2015