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BHS-W4 GEN 19:16 INSTANT DETAILS


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#1 Enoch

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:18 PM

Gen 19:16 has " bᵉḥemlaṯ YHWH ʿālāyw"

freely translatable as "YHWH being merciful to him," literally 'in the mercy of YHWH on him."

The instant details identifies the construct noun as " ‏חֶמְלַת‎ ‏ (חמל) חֶמְלָה ‎Noun comm fem sing constr mercy (Subject)."
Actually the noun hemlat is the object of the preposition b-, not the subject.

I am not sure why the Instant Details says Complement in; "‏עָלָי‎ ‏ (עלה) עַל־2 ‎Particle prep upon, over, above (Complement)."
Actually 'al + pronominal suffix are a preposition plus its object. Do you want to call a that a complement? Should it not read "prepositional phrase used as an adjective to modify a noun"?


Edited by Enoch, 07 December 2010 - 03:24 PM.


#2 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 05:35 PM

Gen 19:16 has " bᵉḥemlaṯ YHWH ʿālāyw"

freely translatable as "YHWH being merciful to him," literally 'in the mercy of YHWH on him."

The instant details identifies the construct noun as " ‏חֶמְלַת‎ ‏ (חמל) חֶמְלָה ‎Noun comm fem sing constr mercy (Subject)."
Actually the noun hemlat is the object of the preposition b-, not the subject.

I am not sure why the Instant Details says Complement in; "‏עָלָי‎ ‏ (עלה) עַל־2 ‎Particle prep upon, over, above (Complement)."
Actually 'al + pronominal suffix are a preposition plus its object. Do you want to call a that a complement? Should it not read "prepositional phrase used as an adjective to modify a noun"?



A good and fair question.

In this case, we determined that "in the mercy of Yhwh upon him" made little sense syntactically when probed thoroughly. It was hard for us to see how the PP עליו modifies anything within the larger PP בחמלת יהוה. And more, how does it all modify the main verb in a logical way? Due to these questions and concerns, we chose to take the b- preposition as causal, with the following phrases חמלת יהוה and עליו as the two parts of a null copula (= "verbless/nominal") clause. The whole null copula clause serves as the complement of the ב preposition and, as is the pattern for copular clauses, the "nominative predicate" (to use I.E. case-based language) is the complement of the copula. Thus, "because the mercy of Yhwh (was) upon him".
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#3 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:11 PM

A good and fair question.

In this case, we determined that "in the mercy of Yhwh upon him" made little sense syntactically when probed thoroughly. It was hard for us to see how the PP עליו modifies anything within the larger PP בחמלת יהוה. And more, how does it all modify the main verb in a logical way? Due to these questions and concerns, we chose to take the b- preposition as causal, with the following phrases חמלת יהוה and עליו as the two parts of a null copula (= "verbless/nominal") clause. The whole null copula clause serves as the complement of the ב preposition and, as is the pattern for copular clauses, the "nominative predicate" (to use I.E. case-based language) is the complement of the copula. Thus, "because the mercy of Yhwh (was) upon him".


I should add that the clausal analysis of this is transparently represented in our tree diagrams. In the attached image, note the "L" (clause) complement of the preposition and the null (-) predicate in the visual representation of our syntactic analysis.

(I don't mention the trees to reopen the issue but simply for the sake of other forum readers who might like to see how our analysis is represented visually in the trees.)

Attached File  Screen shot 2010-12-07 at 7.08.19 PM.png   35.04KB   47 downloads
Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
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blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#4 Enoch

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:32 PM



Attention Accordance:

Having rethought Gen 19:16 with the benefit of advice thankfully received, I suggest the following changes for the instant details boxes on Gen 19:16, which, IMHO, will make them more accurate. You probably will want to figure a way to express this in a more parsimonious manner:

1. for "‏חמלת‎ ‏ (חמל) חמלה ‎Noun comm fem sing constr mercy (Subject),"
delete "Subject" and replace with "object of preposition"

2. for "‏ב‎ ‏ (ב) ב ‎Particle prep in, at, with (Adjunct),"
delete "Adjunct" and replace with "introduces circumstantial adverbial phrase modifying the verb, ‏יחזקו‎."

(Of course you will want to put the vowel points back in which were stripped out when I pasted.)

Incidentally, IMHO Subject and Adjunct did not need to be capitalized,






#5 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 11:48 PM

Attention Accordance:

Having rethought Gen 19:16 with the benefit of advice thankfully received, I suggest the following changes for the instant details boxes on Gen 19:16, which, IMHO, will make them more accurate. You probably will want to figure a way to express this in a more parsimonious manner:

1. for "‏חמלת‎ ‏ (חמל) חמלה ‎Noun comm fem sing constr mercy (Subject),"
delete "Subject" and replace with "object of preposition"

2. for "‏ב‎ ‏ (ב) ב ‎Particle prep in, at, with (Adjunct),"
delete "Adjunct" and replace with "introduces circumstantial adverbial phrase modifying the verb, ‏יחזקו‎."

(Of course you will want to put the vowel points back in which were stripped out when I pasted.)

Incidentally, IMHO Subject and Adjunct did not need to be capitalized,‏


I'm not sure that these would be a helpful changes even in the abstract, but the more important fact is that they would not reflect what we're actually doing (and not doing) in the syntax databases. Thus, they would be a strong move away from accuracy.

For example, חמלת by itself is not the object of the preposition ב; rather, the whole sequence (which is a clause) חמלת יהוה עליו is the complement.

Also we do *not* use the label "object" in our syntax database. (On this, I point any interested readers to the PDF/blog version of the paper I gave at SBL on the syntactic database).

Finally, whereas we *do* employ the category and label "adjunct," we do not make category judgments for subordinate clauses such as 'circumstantial'.

Since the ID information is keyed to individual words, it really can't capture all that goes on in syntax, where constituents can be complex (i.e., multi-word), like חמלת יהוה עליו. For the fuller syntactic information, users will really have to use the trees or do searches for specific constructions and consult the search hits.
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Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
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blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#6 Enoch

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 03:12 PM

Attention of Accordance Instant Details Dept:

For the benefit of those doing syntax, let this definition of clause be refreshed in the mind (Merriam-Webster)
"a group of words containing a subject and predicate and functioning as a member of a complex or compound sentence"
The object of the preposition b- in Gen 19:16 is not a clause.

One may refer to its object as the noun that follows it, or one may include the modifiers of the noun in the object. One definition of the object of a preposition is "A noun or a pronoun that follows a preposition and completes its meaning." Of course this definition ignores modifiers of the noun which are often there.

One definition of a prepositional phrase is "A word group made up of a preposition, its object, and any of the object's modifiers is called a prepositional phrase." This definition also distinguishes the object of preposition (noun or pronoun) from the object's modifiers. I believe this is a stand way of describing English syntax.

Of course this definition does not state that one could consider the noun object with its modifiers as the object. I suggest that in Instant Details nouns which are commonly spoken of as "object of the prepostion," be so-labeled and expect the reader to understand that the noun and its modifiers can also be called its object.

Edited by Enoch, 11 December 2010 - 03:46 PM.


#7 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 03:29 PM

Attention of Accordance Instant Details Dept:

For the benefit of those doing syntax, let this definition of clause be refreshed in the mind (Merriam-Webster)
"a group of words containing a subject and predicate and functioning as a member of a complex or compound sentence"
The object of the preposition b- in Gen 19:16 is not a clause.

One may refer to its object as the noun that follows it, or one may include the modifiers of the noun in the object. One definition of the object of a preposition is "A noun or a pronoun that follows a preposition and completes its meaning." Of course this definition ignores modifiers of the noun which are often there. I suggest that in Instant Details nouns which are commonly spoken of as "object of the prepostion," be so-labeled and expect the reader to understand that the noun and its modifiers can also be called its object.


First, you are quite wrong. There are numerous cases of ב with a clausal complement, whether the clause in question is infinitival or finite, the latter marked by שׁ or אשׁר or, as in this case, without אשׁר or שׁ.

Second, your issues and suggestions have nothing to do with the ID box. Everything you're discussing (or better, complaining about) here has to do with the specifics of the syntax tagging project. And let me be clear -- our basic approach is not going to change due to the whims of users. It is a tool that you can use *as is*. We will work to make certain features clearer and/or easier to use over time, as we tag further texts, etc., but we will not be changing definitions or basic tagging principles (or syntax philosophy) to accord to any given user's desires.

Please cease these requests and such posts.

If you have questions on how to do certain searches, they are welcome. If you have questions about *why* we've made certain choices, they are welcome. But we're not taking suggestions that concern core issues. You might as well ask the writers of the Word Biblical commentaries to rewrite based on your desires -- it won't happen.

With decreasing patience and increasing weariness,
Robert Holmstedt

Edited by Robert Holmstedt, 11 December 2010 - 03:36 PM.

Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
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blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#8 Enoch

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 03:55 PM

Attention of Accordance Instant Details Dept:

Someone has objected to my posting with:
""First, you are quite wrong. There are numerous cases of ב with a clausal complement,"

I response to that I affirm that
I am not wrong. I did not say anything about the possibility of ב having a clause for its object. I only spoke about the phrase in the verse in question, which in fact has no clause.

The suggestions I make are not personal whims, but questions of standard grammar and syntax, which BTW I taught for many years, and even in graduate school.

Kindly note that I have not (recently) directed and am not directing posts to the objector, but to Accordance. And I believe I remain free to suggest improvements to Accordance, whether or not they are accepted.

I heartily recommend that the personal be left out of the discussion. It is not a matter of what I , we, or you are desiring or doing, but of grammar and syntax as displayed in Instant Details.

Edited by Enoch, 11 December 2010 - 04:22 PM.


#9 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:34 PM

Attention of Accordance Instant Details Dept:

Someone has objected to my posting with:
""First, you are quite wrong. There are numerous cases of ב with a clausal complement,"

I response to that I affirm that
I am not wrong. I did not say anything about the possibility of ב having a clause for its object. I only spoke about the phrase in the verse in question, which in fact has no clause.

The suggestions I make are not personal whims, but questions of standard grammar and syntax, which BTW I taught for many years, and even in graduate school.

Kindly note that I have not (recently) directed and am not directing posts to the objector, but to Accordance. And I believe I remain free to suggest improvements to Accordance, whether or not they are accepted.

I heartily recommend that the personal be left out of the discussion. It is not a matter of what I , we, or you are desiring or doing, but of grammar and syntax as displayed in Instant Details.


And I am asserting that there is a clause in this verse in question. So, indeed, I am saying you are quite wrong.

Moreover, to whom you're ostensibly addressing the posts is irrelevant. I direct the syntax project and all such decisions are mine. So it very much is a matter of what I and my team decide to do. It makes no difference where or what you have taught. This comes down to a simple issue: you disagree with the syntax, I direct the syntax project, I disagree with you. The result: the syntax modules will not change according to your suggestions. The information in the Instant Details, whether with morphology or syntax, reflects the information in the underlying module. As such, the ID information will not change according to your suggestions either.

I am not making this personal. The attempt to accuse me of ad hominem is a red herring. But I am telling you that you are wasting your time, my time, and the Accordance folks' time (if not also the time of Forum readers). These are not user-defined syntax modules.

With less patience than ever,
Robert Holmstedt

(By the way, perhaps you'd like to share your full name on the Forum for the benefit of other readers. That way, if they are interested in your grammar qualifications and teaching experience, which you cite here, they can google it.)
Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
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The University of Toronto
blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#10 Helen Brown

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:53 PM

This topic is now closed to further comments.
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