I have corrected a few mistakes that I had made. If more come out, it would be very useful for Helen or me to be informed in time to prepare an update in time for the SBL 2009 annual meeting.
Most of my work, however, went into lexical forms.
Let me recall first that the module is based on the critical edition by Robert Weber (published by Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft). The text by Weber presents Latin forms as they were likely represented in the archetype of the Vulgate. Often these forms are at a variance with dictionary entries. Of course, the critical text has to be respected and was never modified.
Even so, there could be two different ways of representing Lexical forms in the Accordance module. The spelling could be as close to the original as possible, or it could be adjusted to fit the entry for that word in a Latin dictionary.
For instance, the inflected form 'alietum' could be tagged as accusative of alietus, or as the accusative of haliaaetus. The first is the form that retains the spelling of the text by Weber, with the nominative substituted for the accusative. The second is the word that can be found in a dictionary like the Lewis-Short.
When I first tagged the Vulgate, I preferred to retain alietus, as it is closer to the spelling of the critical edition.
But then I faced two problems. The first: spelling throughout the printed Vulgate text is not completely uniform. If the same word appeared with two different spellings, should I attach the inflected forms to two different entries? If so, the user who looked for one of the two, would be under the impression that all relevant words had been found, while actually they hadn't. If I wanted to avoid that undesirable effect, I had to join the two spellings under one word. If I did that, I had to choose one form as "normal" and prefer it to the other. The aberrant form should be adjusted to fit the "normal" form.
The second problem is apparent in the word haliaaetus. This is a form derived from the Greek ἁλιάετος. It means sea-eagle. A reader skilled in Greek can see that the word includes the stem of the Greek ἅλς = sea plus the Greek ἀετός = eagle. The same reader can recognize at first glance this derivation. The same wouldn't be true if the word were spelled alietus. The rough breathing of ἅλς has been dropped instead of being represented by the Latin h, the vowels άε, which in Greek do not form a diphthong, have been first turned into the Latin diphthong ae, and then the diphthong has been suppressed. As a result, the single Latin vowel e has remained.
How could the reader recognize the word after so many changes? And even worse, how could a reader looking for haliaaetus guess that in VULG-T only alietus is represented? He can know, but only after he has searched the module, not before.
This persuaded me that it would be better to give haliaaetus as lexical form. In this way, the user can search for hali* and find both the lexical entry and the inflected forms. Or the user could search for 'ali*' and find the same result.
I therefore revised VULG-T to accommodate for this need. More work can be done on the module, but I think that user can have an immediate advantage in downloading it.
Edited by Marco, 18 July 2009 - 05:08 AM.