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Searching in direct speech


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#1 Martin Shields

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:22 PM

I'm trying to verify my impression that the only first-person references in Genesis are in direct speech. While I think I've verified this, it has raised a couple of "how-to" questions regarding syntax searches, so I'm raising them here.

1. While I can specify "No speech" for Independent and Parenthetical clause types, I can't do it for Dependent clauses, yet there are clearly dependent clauses which lie within direct speech (e.g. Gen 9:12). Is there some way to search for dependent clauses as either part of or not part of direct speech?

2. This is not so much a syntax question, but why are independent personal pronouns (such as אני) not identified as pronouns for the purposes of searching? Or have I missed something?

Thanks!

#2 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:01 AM

Martin,

In reverse order:
2. The pronouns are found using the PRON morph tag on the far right of the tag list in the Hebrew construct. For the personal pronouns, specify "Independent" in the CLASS option.

1. Direct speech is a tricky syntactic animal. It is almost always the syntactic complement of a verb of speaking (there are cases where the verb of speaking is not overt, but this is not common). But since it has it's own deictic centre, direct speech also has a main-clause-like status. Due to the complexity of tagging and searching long stretches of speech or, worse, cases where there is direct speech within direct speech, all direct speech are treated as independent clauses within the syntax searching. That is why the speech radio buttons do not function when a dependent clause is chosen.

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

#3 Martin Shields

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:55 AM

Hi Robert,

In reverse order:
2. The pronouns are found using the PRON morph tag on the far right of the tag list in the Hebrew construct. For the personal pronouns, specify "Independent" in the CLASS option.


I did try that, but if I specify first-person, it doesn't seem to match anything where I'd expect it to match אני. This isn't confined to syntax searches, if I do a normal search for this:


אני@[PRONOUN independent ]


I get 874 hits. If I try and specify first-person thusly:


אני@ [PRONOUN independent first]


I get "The selected grammatical tag cannot be found in BHS-W4."

Stranger still, if I search for the following:

[PRONOUN independent third]

(i.e. looking for ALL independent third-person pronouns) I get a list of all second-person pronouns!

This led to yet another discovery! When I search as follows:

[PRONOUN independent second]

I get all the first-person pronouns! Unfortunately replacing "third" with "fourth" doesn't give me the third-person pronouns.

Is this just me?

1. Direct speech is a tricky syntactic animal. It is almost always the syntactic complement of a verb of speaking (there are cases where the verb of speaking is not overt, but this is not common). But since it has it's own deictic centre, direct speech also has a main-clause-like status. Due to the complexity of tagging and searching long stretches of speech or, worse, cases where there is direct speech within direct speech, all direct speech are treated as independent clauses within the syntax searching. That is why the speech radio buttons do not function when a dependent clause is chosen.


I understand (I think). Is there then a way to search for dependent clauses which are part of an independent clause that's marked as speech? My example is Gen 9:12, the dependent clause (following אשר) appears (from the syntax tree) to be included as part of the overall independent clause (NA).

Thanks!

#4 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:44 AM

Martin,

I can verify your pronoun problem in the construct window, too. If you enter "2nd person," the results are all 1st person pronouns; if you enter 3rd person, there results are 2nd person pronouns. There is a new bug here (I know I've used this feature in the past and it worked correctly).

On the direct speech, after I wrote the description last night I did a bit of toying around with the searching and I need to address this issue with the programmer. There are indeed some small speech clauses that we include lower down the tree -- single clauses, clauses in which the quotative frame intervenes within the direct speech (e.g., "It was raining," she said, "so we ran to the car."), etc. These actually do come up under dependent clauses if you search for "Dependent Clause" and then thrown in "Begin Speech" beneath it. I will work on sorting out this inconsistency.

-- addition:

I should clarify -- while there is some technical inconsistency that I am sorting out on our end, since the "Independent clause = speech" search catches *all* the direct speech (regardless where it appears in the tree), a search for all 1cs pronouns in direct speech works *as is* (once the pronoun issue is fixed, of course).

And it is the very nature of pronouns that 1st and 2nd person pronouns only exist in direct speech. They do not have the proper features for narrative. This is a good reference on pronouns (I've used it my own research); it includes an excellent discussion on the difference between 3rd person and 1st-2nd person pronouns:

Bhat, D.N.S. 2004. Pronouns. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cheers,
Robert

Edited by Robert Holmstedt, 02 March 2012 - 11:34 AM.

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

#5 Martin Shields

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:06 PM

Just a note to say that this problem seems to have been resolved by upgrading to 9.5.5 (released today), at least for me.

Robert, thanks for the reference, I'll look it up. Of course you're right — I was mainly trying to confirm something in response to something I'd read posted in a blog (you know, the old "I can't come to bed yet, someone is wrong on the internet" problem).

Thanks again!
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#6 Rod Decker

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:32 PM

And it is the very nature of pronouns that 1st and 2nd person pronouns only exist in direct speech. They do not have the proper features for narrative.


Robert, I'm curious. This may not be the best place to pose a grammatical question, but after reading your comment I began thinking of what might be considered counter-examples. If the principle I've quoted from your post stands, how do you explain texts like Rom 7:9f, ἐγὼ δὲ ἔζων χωρὶς νόμου ποτέ, ἐλθούσης δὲ τῆς ἐντολῆς ἡ ἁμαρτία ἀνέζησεν, 10 ἐγὼ δὲ ἀπέθανον καὶ εὑρέθη μοι ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ εἰς ζωήν, αὕτη εἰς θάνατον· Are we to explain written discourses like Romans as direct speech? It's certainly not historical narrative, but I don't know that I've ever heard it treated as direct discourse either. I'd guess this is a matter of terminology and definition, but not having access to Bhat, I don't have any place to turn except to you! :) (And I've just requisitioned Bhat for our library.)

Or for 2d person, Rom 2:1, Διὸ ἀναπολόγητος εἶ, ὦ ἄνθρωπε πᾶς ὁ κρίνων· ἐν ᾧ γὰρ κρίνεις τὸν ἕτερον, σεαυτὸν κατακρίνεις, τὰ γὰρ αὐτὰ πράσσεις ὁ κρίνων... 3 λογίζῃ δὲ τοῦτο, ὦ ἄνθρωπε ὁ κρίνων τοὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντας καὶ ποιῶν αὐτά, ὅτι σὺ ἐκφεύξῃ τὸ κρίμα τοῦ θεοῦ; 4 ἢ τοῦ πλούτου τῆς χρηστότητος αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς ἀνοχῆς καὶ τῆς μακροθυμίας καταφρονεῖς, ἀγνοῶν ὅτι τὸ χρηστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰς μετάνοιάν σε ἄγει;
Rodney J. Decker, ThD
Professor of NT & Greek
Baptist Bible Seminary
NTResources.com/blog/

#7 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:00 PM

Rod,

That's an excellent question. Indeed, it was raised when we began the tagging project with regard to entire books like Deuteronomy.

The answer is that the self-presentation of Deuteronomy and Romans is as direct speech. As literary products, they may exist in some sort of gray area since direct speech is typically not as long as Deuteronomy. But grammatically speaking, they are direct speech nonetheless. A good example to frame this is the book of Ecclesiastes. It begins and ends with a short narrative frame in the 3rd person and the bulk is in 1st person "direct speech" narrative. :-)

When it comes to pronominal reference, we have to keep in mind the communicative setting, explicit or implicit: 1st and 2nd person pronouns are used in address situations, referring to the speaker and the addressee. Certainly 3rd person pronouns can also be used in direct speech, but importantly, they are the *only* ones used in communicative contexts in which there is no reference to speaker or addressee (i.e., narrative).

Does that help? If not, email me and I'll send you some excerpts from Bhat's book (which is really quite a good monograph on the topic).
Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages
Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
The University of Toronto
blog: ancienthebrewgrammar.wordpress.com

#8 Rod Decker

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:36 AM

Yes, that's helpful. I figured you'd have to define things along those lines. What, then, do you term actual direct discourse/oral dialog within these "direct speech" sections? And how do you distinguish them in terms of tagging, etc.?
Rodney J. Decker, ThD
Professor of NT & Greek
Baptist Bible Seminary
NTResources.com/blog/

#9 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:50 AM

Rod,

We have multiple levels of direct speech tagging that we can use to keep track of the levels. That's not a problem.

For what we did with the whole books that merely had a brief narrative frame, see Ecclesiastes. It's all speech (except for the 3 intrusions of the narrator in 1.1, 1.2, 7.27, and 12.8-14. The same has been done in the tagged minor prophets and will be the case with the others, as well as Deuteronomy (i.e., tagged as speech in 1.6ff).
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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