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searching for a predicate nominative


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#1 danzac

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 01:01 PM

I thought this would be a simple thing. I want to find a predicate nominative. In the construct window, I dropped in "noun", chose nominative as the case and with it dropped in "predicate". No results found. Looking at an example (Matt 12:8) I see that κύριος is nominative, and that in the syntax window it is the predicate. What am i doing wrong?

#2 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 05:21 PM

I thought this would be a simple thing. I want to find a predicate nominative. In the construct window, I dropped in "noun", chose nominative as the case and with it dropped in "predicate". No results found. Looking at an example (Matt 12:8) I see that κύριος is nominative, and that in the syntax window it is the predicate. What am i doing wrong?


An excellent question -- and an excellent opportunity to reinforce one of the small but important terminological differences between our syntactic tagging and traditional categories.

A predicate nominative in traditional terms is a nominative case-marked noun that serves as the non-subject noun in a copular predication. That is, κύριος ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς ‘the son is the lord’.

But this is a bit ambiguous when it comes to explicit syntax, since "predicate" in many grammars is often defined as the entire non-subject part of a clause, i.e., the verb and all its modifiers. This is the way we use "predicate" -- as the entire non-subject part of the core clause.

Clause = (coordinator/subordinator) - Subject - Predicate [Verb + Complements/Adjuncts].

So, to find what is traditionally called a predicate nominative, you must recognize that you're actually looking for a noun that is case-marked as a nominative and is the complement of a copular verb within the predicate phrase.

There are two ways to look for this item:
1. choose "Complement" and then choose "Noun = Nominative" in the first column. (See attached image below.)
2. choose "Predicate Phrase" and then insert the same two components above in the first column of the Predicate Phrase. (Results *should* be the same.)

The second option is what you'd want if you wanted to see whether the predicate phrase included any accompanying adjuncts as well.

Does that help?

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Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
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#3 Marco V. Fabbri

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 04:56 AM

I think that Robert gave an excellent answer.

Unfortunately, I see that in Matthew 12:8 a tag is missing: TOU SABBATOU should be within and adjunct bracket. I have fixed it for the next release.

I may add that the same result may be found even in the main search window (that, without even opening the Greek Construct):

Just enter:

[COMPLEMENT] @ [ANY Nominative]

I hope this helps.
Marco Valerio Fabbri
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#4 danzac

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:57 AM

thanks for the help. I assumed that anything "under" the predicate part of the tree would be identified as such.

Am I right in assuming then that only finite verbs would found in a predicate search?

I would like to do some reading on this type of syntax structure. Have you guys written any little "primers" on these syntax modules?

#5 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 08:20 AM

thanks for the help. I assumed that anything "under" the predicate part of the tree would be identified as such.

Am I right in assuming then that only finite verbs would found in a predicate search?

I would like to do some reading on this type of syntax structure. Have you guys written any little "primers" on these syntax modules?


Yes, if you choose just "Predicate," the hits should be only finite verbs and infinitives and imperatives — only participles are excluded since they are complements of copulas. If you choose "Predicate Phrase" the hits will be all finite verbs and null copulas, as well as their modifiers.

I wrote two papers describing the basic structures and the decisions we made. The first was given at the Sept 2010 user's conference. The second was given at the Nov 2010 SBL (and revised as a blog post). Links to both are found here: http://individual.ut...x_Database.html

I am working on a guide to the Hebrew database, but it has been developing slowly for two reasons: the syntax searching continues to get tweaked (even though it's currently very, very good) and writing the guide must be squeezed into a schedule full of tagging and teaching. But I have often given excerpts as fuller explanations in this sub-forum.

Summary: it's coming. In the meantime, don't hesitate to ask questions here and I'll answer as quickly as I can.

**Correction noted above about what a simple "Predicate" search returns.

Edited by Robert Holmstedt, 29 August 2011 - 01:23 PM.

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

#6 Marco V. Fabbri

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:33 AM

I need to point out that in the GNT-T syntax, a search for [Predicate] will also return Participles.

This is so because Greek participles retain verbal features.
1) They have tense (even if it is relative and not absolute)
2) They may have a complement (direct object)
3) They are often the only predicate in a dependent clause, such as the so-called absolute genitive clauses.
Marco Valerio Fabbri
P. Università della S. Croce
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#7 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:42 AM

I need to point out that in the GNT-T syntax, a search for [Predicate] will also return Participles.

This is so because Greek participles retain verbal features.
1) They have tense (even if it is relative and not absolute)
2) They may have a complement (direct object)
3) They are often the only predicate in a dependent clause, such as the so-called absolute genitive clauses.


Marco,

Thank you for pointing this out.

To be clear for users, the same features (##1-3) are true in Hebrew as well (for #1, we take the participle to be aspectual -- it would be interesting to compare the Heb and Grk participles to see how different they are).

However, due to the cross-linguistic, typological evidence, we chose at the outset of the tagging project to depart from the traditional approach to Hebrew and to classify participles as adjectives rather than verbs.

For the full argument behind this decision, users can read this paper.

This is indeed an important distinction between the Hebrew and Greek modules and users must be aware of this.

Edited by Robert Holmstedt, 31 August 2011 - 09:13 AM.

Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
The University of Toronto
blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com




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