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Advice on Search to find Hapax Legomena in BHS

search hapax legomena

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#1 jm_forum



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Posted 01 March 2018 - 04:06 PM



building on this post I did a search which looked like this: [COUNT 1]@- [NOUN proper] 

The range was set to Non-Aramaic i.e. Gen 1:1-Jer 10:10; Jer 10:12-52:34; Ezek-Dan 2:3; 8:1-Ezra 4:7; 6:19-7:11; 7:27-2Chron


In the BHS this gave me 1,701 different forms which is significantly more than the number 414 mentioned in the article of the Jewish Encyclopedia.

Does anyone know how to perform a search or which additional spreadsheet work needs to be done to get from the 1,701 to the 414?


Also I was wondering what the best way actually is to enter this type of search in the field.

When I try to enter it just via the keyboard and have the search set to Words it is not possible to type in Latin letters.

So I tried to type out the search outside Accordance and paste it into the search field

or typed while Verses was selected and then pressed enter which seemed to change the search to Words.

or tried to build the whole search via right-click and adding each component individually which seems to be quite difficult as well.


So what is the best practice when working with the search field?


Thank you for your help...

#2 David Lang

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:42 PM

I'll answer the latter question first, and then puzzle over the numbers a bit.


I built the search by using keyboard shortcuts and the Search menu:


1. I pressed shift-command-U to enter the COUNT command (you could also select it from the menu obviously.

2. Then I typed the @ and minus after (to the left) of the COUNT command.

3. Then I chose NOUN from the Enter Tag submenu of the Search menu.


Inserting the tags in that way saved me any problems with right-to-left entry.


As for the numbers given in the article, it says "Words or forms of words that occur once only. There are about 1,500 of these in the Old Testament; but only 400 are, strictly, 'hapax legomena'; i.e., are either absolutely new coinages of roots, or can not be derived in their formation or in their specific meaning from other occurring stems. The remaining 1,100, while appearing once only as a form, can easily be connected with other existing words."


The numbers and examples given in the article line up pretty well with the data in Accordance. Accordance returns 1716 lexical forms which only appear once, rather than the 1500 given in the article, but the number of verses found is 1486. I wonder if that is where they got the 1500 number.


The examples they give of related forms is also consistent with the Accordance data. Each is listed as a separate lexical form, even though some of the forms are clearly related. I know of no automated way to filter that list to the 400 "strict" hapax legomena, but if you choose Analysis from the View Analytics pop-up, you'll get an alphabetized list that will group most related words together.

David Lang

#3 jm_forum



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Posted 02 March 2018 - 04:27 AM

Hi David,


thank you for your advice on the search.

So I presume even though here in the forum the searches are usually posted from left to right, in Accordance itself it should be read right to left, correct?


Thank you for sharing your approach on how to enter the search, so for me it looks like this now:




Another question on this search: Is there actually a difference between [NOUN properName] and [NOUN proper]? In some threads in the forum I see one version in other threads the other version.


How did you get to the 1716 lexical items and 1486 verses?

As you can see for me it displays 1701 / 1467 with the above search and the Non Aramaic range.


Thank you for the advice with sorting the list alphabetically and then going through it.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: search, hapax legomena

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