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A tip for understanding word frequency stats in Concise DCH


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#1 Abram K-J

Abram K-J

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:18 PM

Hi, everyone,

 

It just took me a little while to figure out how to read the frequency stats in the Concise Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. So I thought I'd post this little tidbit here to save some folks the time, and in case I'm reading it wrong, someone can correct me.

 

The introduction to the lexicon reads:

 

2. Statistics. Next comes a notation of the number of occurrences of the word in each of the four corpora of ancient Hebrew: the Bible, Ben Sira, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Inscriptions. Thus the notation 334.5.13.32 means that the word occurs 334 times in the Bible, 5 times in Ben Sira, 13 times in the Dead Sea Scrolls and 32 times in the Hebrew Inscriptions. If there is only one number in the statistics, the word occurs only in the Hebrew Bible, and if the notation is, for example, 0.0.7, it means that it occurs only in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and that 7 times. In the case of verbs, occurrence statistics are also given for each of the voices (or, binyanim).

 

The entry for נתן has a frequency count of "2015.62.228.26." That's straightforward enough. But then with the entry for תרומה the frequency given is "76.2.18." This means 76 times in the Bible, 2 in Ben Sira, 18 times in the DSS, and 0 times in the inscriptions. Another entry that has "11.4" means 11 times in the Bible, 4 times in Ben Sira, 0 in DSS and 0 in the inscriptions.

 

What made me take a little while to figure this out is that some entries have counts like "376.0.1," which means 376x in the Bible, 0x in Ben Sira, 1 in DSS, and 0 in the inscriptions.

 

The 0s are not noted, then, if there is not one of the four statistics with 1+ following. In other words, you'd have "376.0.1," but never "376.1.0.0" or even "376.1.0."

 

It would have been easier if all the 0s were inserted in every case, so that you were always looking at 4 actual numbers (thinking of 0 as "number" for the moment), but I am guessing that this pattern follows the longer DCH, which at 8 volumes in print couldn't likely afford to be filled with 0s, where they could otherwise be deleted.

 

I hope this makes sense. Maybe this was patently obvious already to everyone else, but it took me 5 minutes to figure out, and it took you 3 minutes to read this, so hopefully that's of help!


Abram K-J
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#2 Daniel Semler

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:54 PM

Hey, I read it Abram and I don't even read Hebrew - well I am trying to learn but ....

 

A nice compression algorithm.

 

But its an interesting difference between paper and eBooks. You could render the information in the compacted form as it is in print, or you could expand it on screen so the redundant info is present, very likely only at negligible cost in screen real estate. It would still be stored on disk in compact form.  But in a paper book something like this makes great sense.

 

Thx

D


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