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This book is the result of an innovative linguistic study of the Syriac translation of Ben Sira. It contains both a traditional philological analysis, incorporating matters of text-historical interest and translation technique, and also the results of a computational linguistic analysis of phrases, clauses and texts. It arrives at new linguistic insights, including a proposal for a corpus-based description of phrase structure based on a so-called maximum matrix. The book also addresses the fundamentally different way in which a text is approached in a computer-assisted analysis compared with the way in which this is done in traditional philological approaches. It demonstrates how the computer-assisted analysis can fruitfully shed light on or supplement traditional philological research.
This volume is a revised and enlarged version of the author's Ph.D. dissertation (1999). It gives a comprehensive analysis of the morphosyntax and syntax of the tenses in the Hebrew text of Ben Sira. Due attention is paid to the heterogeneous character of the textual evidence (three manuscripts from the Desert of Judah and six mediaeval manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza), which complicates any linguistic study of Ben Sira. A descriptive analysis is complemented by a comparison with other contemporaneous, earlier, and later forms of Hebrew. It is argued that the Hebrew of Ben Sira is a literary language in its own right, rather than an imitation of Biblical Hebrew or a predecessor of Mishnaic Hebrew.
Over the years the use of computers for research has become increasingly important in Biblical Studies. However, a combination of computational linguistics with diachronic text-critical and text-historical approaches has hardly ever taken place. Quite often, there is mutual misunderstanding between computational linguistics and more traditional approaches in the field of linguistics and textual analysis. For example, in computer-assisted research of modern text corpora it is common to treat the text as an unequivocal and unidimensional sequence of characters. In Biblical Studies, however, either text is considered an abstraction, the result of a scholarly reconstruction based on the extant textual witnesses. Here a fundamental difference in approach reveals itself.

The present volume tries to overcome the misunderstanding between the various disciplines and to establish how a fruitful interaction of information technology, linguistics and textual criticism, can contribute to the analysis of ancient texts. It addresses questions concerning the confrontation between synchronic and diachronic approaches, the role of linguistic analysis in the interpretation of texts, and the interaction of linguistic theory and the analysis of linguistic data.

The first section of this volume contains the papers presented at the CALAP seminar 2003. In the second section different aspects of the interdisciplinary analysis are applied to a selected passage from the Peshitta of Kings.
Studies Presented to Professor Eep Talstra on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday
The theme of this volume in honour of Eep Talstra is ‘Tradition and Innovation in Biblical Interpretation’, with an emphasis on the innovative role of computer-assisted textual analysis. It focusses on the role of tradition in biblical interpretation and of the innovations brought about by ICT in reconsidering existing interpretations of texts, grammatical concepts, and lexicographic practices. Questions addressed include: How does the role of exegesis as the ‘clarification of one’s own tradition, in order to understand choices and preferences’ (Talstra) relate to the critical role which Scripture has towards this tradition? How does the indebtedness to tradition of computer-driven philology relate to its innovative character? And how does computer-assisted analysis of the biblical texts lead to new research methods and results?
The Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Text Scholarship
In fourteen thoughtful essays this book reports and reflects on the many changes that a digital workflow brings to the world of original texts and textual scholarship, and the effect on scholarly communication practices. The spread of digital technology across philology, linguistics and literary studies suggests that text scholarship is taking on a more laboratory-like image. The ability to sort, quantify, reproduce and report text through computation would seem to facilitate the exploration of text as another type of quantitative scientific data. However, developing this potential also highlights text analysis and text interpretation as two increasingly separated sub-tasks in the study of texts. The implied dual nature of interpretation as the traditional, valued mode of scholarly text comparison, combined with an increasingly widespread reliance on digital text analysis as scientific mode of inquiry raises the question as to whether the reflexive concepts that are central to interpretation – individualism, subjectivity – are affected by the anonymised, normative assumptions implied by formal categorisations of text as digital data.
Editors: J.P. Lettinga and Muraoka
Contributor: Wido Th. van Peursen
This volume deals with the essentials of Biblical Hebrew grammatical structure. It is designed as a textbook for complete beginners, though it is detailed enough to arouse the interest of students wishing to learn a little more than the bare essentials and to see the language in the light of its earlier phases. Partly for the latter purpose there are constant references to the appropriate parts of the two advanced Biblical Hebrew grammars, Joüon-Muraoka and Waltke-O'Connor.
Unlike most grammars of its kind, this work contains a fairly extensive syntax section. The appended Hulpboek contains a considerable amount of exercise material and a selection of biblical texts and an inscription with annotations and cross-references to the main body of the grammar. Furthermore, there are a glossary, a set of paradigms, a subject index, and a list of technical terms with explanatory notes drawn on non-Hebrew examples. The volume is a considerably rewritten, revised version of the ninth edition of Lettinga's grammar.