Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

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Emma Ehrhardt
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Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Emma Ehrhardt » March 19th, 2015, 12:15 pm

Reposted from http://readingkoinegreek.blogspot.com
[Disclaimer: this is a new blog to share some of the work I've been doing on designing automated language learning exercises.]

Once someone has completed a first-year Greek class, what are the easiest New Testament passages to read?

Let's assume this student is comfortable with vocabulary that occurs 50 or more times in the New Testament. This is fairly representative of many beginning Greek grammars. By 'comfortable', I mean they know the basic meaning of the word, and can recognize the various forms it can occur as.

Good reading comprehension requires very few words being unknown. Literacy research suggests that if less than 95% of words in a passage are unknown, then reading comprehension is hindered.

Using the twin criteria of 1) word frequency and 2) percentage of words in the text that are known, the GNT provides 25 nice-sized passages to work with.

Code: Select all

 * TEXT  *  LENGTH * WORDS KNOWN * % KNOWN *
Mt 12:46-50   91         89          98%
Mt 18:1-5     78         74          95%
Mt 21:23-27   116        109         94%
Mt 22:41-46   78         74          95%
Lk 8:19-21    54         51          94%
Lk 22:66-71   94         89          95%
Jn 1:10-13    58         57          98%
Jn 2:23-25    55         52          95%
Jn 5:39-47    126        120         95%
Jn 6:35-51    314        302         96%
Jn 6:60-65    113        107         95%
Jn 8:21-30    185        177         96%
Jn 8:39-52a   271        257         95%
Jn 9:35-41    110        109         99%
Jn 12:44-50   133        129         97%
Jn 13:31-35   87         83          95%
Jn 14:8-17    195        186         95%
Jn 17:1-26    498        473         95%
Jn 18:4-9     86         81          94%
Jn 21:20-23   90         86          96%
Gal 1:1-5     75         72          96%
1Jn 3:18-4:6  262        248         95%
1Jn 4:7-16a   182        172         95%
1Jn 5:1-17    350        333         95%
2Jn 1:1-3     59         56          95%
This list could probably be improved if some measure of syntactic complexity were also factored in, but this should at least be a good place to start.

These passages were obtained by searching MorphGNT and the GBI syntax trees, using the SBLGNT text.
Emma Ehrhardt
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 19th, 2015, 2:38 pm

Emma Ehrhardt wrote:Reposted from http://readingkoinegreek.blogspot.com
[Disclaimer: this is a new blog to share some of the work I've been doing on designing automated language learning exercises.]
Cool! I also appreciated this bit:
These passages were obtained by searching MorphGNT and the GBI syntax trees, using the SBLGNT text.
What are you using to generate these lists? Were you using the straight GBI syntax trees, the lowfat version, or a combination? Did you use Nestle1904 or SBLGNT? Please do give us feedback on the trees as you use them.

Could you perhaps link to the Github for the syntax trees to make it easier for others to find them?
This list could probably be improved if some measure of syntactic complexity were also factored in, but this should at least be a good place to start.
What measures could be most useful? I assume the trees have what you need?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Emma Ehrhardt
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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Emma Ehrhardt » March 19th, 2015, 6:52 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:What are you using to generate these lists? Were you using the straight GBI syntax trees, the lowfat version, or a combination? Did you use Nestle1904 or SBLGNT? Please do give us feedback on the trees as you use them.
So far I've been working with the regular GBI syntax trees for the SBLGNT text, not the lowfat version you've recently made available. I'm sure another parser is quicker, but I'm most familiar with using Python and the beautifulSoup library to parse the xml. (Actually, since this search only cared about passage boundaries, I could have done it just as well using only MorphGNT.)

Once I extracted a frequency count for each lemma, I then walked through each passage and scored the words as known or unknown, then tallied up the results. I did combine adjacent passages for the final list. Since the syntax trees break the text up into sentences but not passages, I made use of sentence-initial capital words to determine my paragraph breaks (which closely approximates the original breaks from SBLGNT).

Regarding feedback on the trees, is it better to post that type of thing here, or in the Issues section on github?
Jonathan Robie wrote:
Emma Ehrhardt wrote:This list could probably be improved if some measure of syntactic complexity were also factored in, but this should at least be a good place to start.
What measures could be most useful? I assume the trees have what you need?
The trees definitely have enough for a good start; it's a matter of pulling together a list of measures from second language research and finding a way to score them automatically. Initially, looking at the number and type of clauses in each sentence (simple vs conjoined, main vs embedded, etc) is useful. Length features are also indicative (length of sentence, or of individual phrases). I'm not sure what combination would be most useful at a paragraph level. I may play around with several of these at a sentence-level to see which make sense.

Thanks for the nudge on adding the links. I intended to but had forgotten.
Emma Ehrhardt
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » March 20th, 2015, 6:02 pm

Perhaps your blog could also show the code? I'd love to see a larger community learning to use this data, and the more people share their code, the more people will learn from each other.
Emma Ehrhardt wrote:Regarding feedback on the trees, is it better to post that type of thing here, or in the Issues section on github?
To get it fixed, on github. To have a good conversation with people who might not read github issues, here.
Jonathan Robie wrote:
Emma Ehrhardt wrote:This list could probably be improved if some measure of syntactic complexity were also factored in, but this should at least be a good place to start.
What measures could be most useful? I assume the trees have what you need?
The trees definitely have enough for a good start; it's a matter of pulling together a list of measures from second language research and finding a way to score them automatically. Initially, looking at the number and type of clauses in each sentence (simple vs conjoined, main vs embedded, etc) is useful. Length features are also indicative (length of sentence, or of individual phrases). I'm not sure what combination would be most useful at a paragraph level. I may play around with several of these at a sentence-level to see which make sense.[/quote]

I do think this is already useful. I noticed that the #1 passage started with a sentence that has some syntactic complexity:
46 Ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος τοῖς ὄχλοις ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ εἱστήκεισαν ἔξω ζητοῦντες αὐτῷ λαλῆσαι. 47 εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ· Ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἔξω ἑστήκασιν, ζητοῦντές σοι λαλῆσαι. 48 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ λέγοντι αὐτῷ· Τίς ἐστιν ἡ μήτηρ μου, καὶ τίνες εἰσὶν οἱ ἀδελφοί μου; 49 καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν· Ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ μου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου· 50 ὅστις γὰρ ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς, αὐτός μου ἀδελφὸς καὶ ἀδελφὴ καὶ μήτηρ ἐστίν.
The words are familiar, but the first sentence isn't particularly easy.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 29th, 2015, 6:27 pm

I've been playing with this lately, since I need to be able to identify texts at various levels for stuff I'm working on. I created a frequency list from the syntax trees using a simple XQuery. I read up on readability formulas used for English), and decided to try a modified Dale-Chall index, which seems to be similar to what you did here. For English, this index has a 0.93 correlation with reading scores, and it's easy to compute, so it makes sense to try it.

There are three places to tune the results:
  • The frequency threshhold to use for unknown words (it would also be easy enough to use a list of words by chapter, and compute the difficulty compared to the words a student should have learned by now)
  • The weighting of unknown words in computing the difficulty of a sentence
  • The weighting of the length of a sentence in computing its difficulty
Here's the query I wrote:

Code: Select all

let $common := doc("/home/jonathan/project/biblicalhumanities.org/greek-new-testament/syntax-trees/sblgnt-lowfat/artifacts/frequency.xml")//lemma[@count >= 50]/string(@n)
for $s in //sentence
let $words := $s//w
let $length := count($words)
let $unknown := $words[not(@lemma = $common)]
let $percent-unknown := count($unknown) div $length
let $difficulty := 0.15 * $percent-unknown + 0.05 * $length
order by $difficulty
where $length > 5
return
<group>
  <name>
  {
   "difficulty: ", $difficulty,
   " percent-unknown: ", $percent-unknown,
   " length: ", $length, " unknown: ", count($unknown) , " ", $unknown ! string-join(./@lemma,' ')
  }
  </name>
  { $s }
</group>

This rates the difficulty of each sentence in the Greek New Testament, sorting by difficulty. Let's do a little plausibility on this ... here are some of the easiest sentences of length > 5 words, which were all rated at the same level (0.3):
  • Matthew 05:14 Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου.
  • Matthew 12:26 πῶς οὖν σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ;
  • Mark 04:24 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς· Βλέπετε τί ἀκούετε.
  • Acts 16:18 τοῦτο δὲ ἐποίει ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας.
  • Matthew 15:23 ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῇ λόγον.
  • Mark 05:09 καὶ ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν· Τί ὄνομά σοι;
  • Matthew 20:21 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Τί θέλεις;
  • Matthew 21:30 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· Ἐγώ, κύριε·
  • Matthew 22:25 ἦσαν δὲ παρ’ ἡμῖν ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοί·
  • Matthew 27:43 εἶπεν γὰρ ὅτι Θεοῦ εἰμι υἱός.
  • Mark 02:13 Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν πάλιν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν·
A couple of interesting things about this result: there are 592 sentences with more than 5 words that are rated at this level of difficulty, and they contain a wide variety of sentence orders. This set of sentences might be useful to someone trying to learn to write simple sentences in Greek. A lot of these sentences use only words with frequency > 50 in the GNT. I think these results have face validity, the sentences feel more or less equally difficult to me.

Let's ratchet this up to 0.5 (skipping over a bunch of results). That gives you fewer results, generally with somewhat longer sentences:
  • Matthew 08:01 Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί.
  • Matthew 20:15 ἢ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρός ἐστιν ὅτι ἐγὼ ἀγαθός εἰμι;
  • Matthew 25:12 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς.
  • Mark 02:13 καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς.
  • Mark 02:28 ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου.
These are level 0.82815, longer sentences with some words not on the list
  • Acts 15:32 Ἰούδας τε καὶ Σιλᾶς, καὶ αὐτοὶ προφῆται ὄντες, διὰ λόγου πολλοῦ παρεκάλεσαν τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς καὶ ἐπεστήριξαν·
  • 1 Corinthians 03:18 εἴ τις δοκεῖ σοφὸς εἶναι ἐν ὑμῖν ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, μωρὸς γενέσθω, ἵνα γένηται σοφός,
  • James 02:26 ὥσπερ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα χωρὶς πνεύματος νεκρόν ἐστιν, οὕτως καὶ ἡ πίστις χωρὶς ἔργων νεκρά ἐστιν.
  • John 05:21 ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ἐγείρει τοὺς νεκροὺς καὶ ζῳοποιεῖ, οὕτως καὶ ὁ υἱὸς οὓς θέλει ζῳοποιεῖ.
  • Acts 04:04 πολλοὶ δὲ τῶν ἀκουσάντων τὸν λόγον ἐπίστευσαν, καὶ ἐγενήθη ὁ ἀριθμὸς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ὡς χιλιάδες πέντε.
Let's jump down to 1.14772:
  • Acts 24:01 Μετὰ δὲ πέντε ἡμέρας κατέβη ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς Ἁνανίας μετὰ πρεσβυτέρων τινῶν καὶ ῥήτορος Τερτύλλου τινός, οἵτινες ἐνεφάνισαν τῷ ἡγεμόνι κατὰ τοῦ Παύλου.
  • 2 Corinthians 08:22 συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ αὐτοῖς τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἡμῶν ὃν ἐδοκιμάσαμεν ἐν πολλοῖς πολλάκις σπουδαῖον ὄντα, νυνὶ δὲ πολὺ σπουδαιότερον πεποιθήσει πολλῇ τῇ εἰς ὑμᾶς.
  • 2 Peter 03:09 οὐ βραδύνει κύριος τῆς ἐπαγγελίας, ὥς τινες βραδύτητα ἡγοῦνται, ἀλλὰ μακροθυμεῖ εἰς ὑμᾶς, μὴ βουλόμενός τινας ἀπολέσθαι ἀλλὰ πάντας εἰς μετάνοιαν χωρῆσαι.
  • 1 Timothy 06:01 Ὅσοι εἰσὶν ὑπὸ ζυγὸν δοῦλοι, τοὺς ἰδίους δεσπότας πάσης τιμῆς ἀξίους ἡγείσθωσαν, ἵνα μὴ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἡ διδασκαλία βλασφημῆται.
  • Matthew 06:30 εἰ δὲ τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ σήμερον ὄντα καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον ὁ θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέννυσιν, οὐ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς, ὀλιγόπιστοι;
Larger scores do seem to correlate with harder sentences, though it's obviously not a perfect measure. Let's keep going, these are rated 1.59 - 1.6:
  • Matthew 25:42 ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ οὐκ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με, γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με, ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με.
  • James 03:06 καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα πῦρ, ὁ κόσμος τῆς ἀδικίας ἡ γλῶσσα καθίσταται ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν ἡμῶν, ἡ σπιλοῦσα ὅλον τὸ σῶμα καὶ φλογίζουσα τὸν τροχὸν τῆς γενέσεως καὶ φλογιζομένη ὑπὸ τῆς γεέννης.
  • Acts 27:21 Πολλῆς τε ἀσιτίας ὑπαρχούσης τότε σταθεὶς ὁ Παῦλος ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν εἶπεν· Ἔδει μέν, ὦ ἄνδρες, πειθαρχήσαντάς μοι μὴ ἀνάγεσθαι ἀπὸ τῆς Κρήτης κερδῆσαί τε τὴν ὕβριν ταύτην καὶ τὴν ζημίαν.
  • Matthew 23:37 Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ, ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν— ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου, ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε;
  • Philippians 02:05 τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, ὃς ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος·
Now let's skip down to the bottom. The hardest sentence, according to this metric, isn't actually all that hard. It's a genealogy, so it has a lot of rare words that are proper nouns, and it is long, but the sentence structure is easy:
  • Luke 03:23 Καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα, ὢν υἱός, ὡς ἐνομίζετο, Ἰωσὴφ τοῦ Ἠλὶ τοῦ Μαθθὰτ τοῦ Λευὶ τοῦ Μελχὶ τοῦ Ἰανναὶ τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ τοῦ Ματταθίου τοῦ Ἀμὼς τοῦ Ναοὺμ τοῦ Ἑσλὶ τοῦ Ναγγαὶ τοῦ Μάαθ τοῦ Ματταθίου τοῦ Σεμεῒν τοῦ Ἰωσὴχ τοῦ Ἰωδὰ τοῦ Ἰωανὰν τοῦ Ῥησὰ τοῦ Ζοροβαβὲλ τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ τοῦ Νηρὶ τοῦ Μελχὶ τοῦ Ἀδδὶ τοῦ Κωσὰμ τοῦ Ἐλμαδὰμ τοῦ Ἢρ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ἐλιέζερ τοῦ Ἰωρὶμ τοῦ Μαθθὰτ τοῦ Λευὶ τοῦ Συμεὼν τοῦ Ἰούδα τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ τοῦ Ἰωνὰμ τοῦ Ἐλιακὶμ τοῦ Μελεὰ τοῦ Μεννὰ τοῦ Ματταθὰ τοῦ Ναθὰμ τοῦ Δαυὶδ τοῦ Ἰεσσαὶ τοῦ Ἰωβὴλ τοῦ Βόος τοῦ Σαλὰ τοῦ Ναασσὼν τοῦ Ἀμιναδὰβ τοῦ Ἀδμὶν τοῦ Ἀρνὶ τοῦ Ἑσρὼμ τοῦ Φαρὲς τοῦ Ἰούδα τοῦ Ἰακὼβ τοῦ Ἰσαὰκ τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ τοῦ Θάρα τοῦ Ναχὼρ τοῦ Σεροὺχ τοῦ Ῥαγαὺ τοῦ Φάλεκ τοῦ Ἔβερ τοῦ Σαλὰ τοῦ Καϊνὰμ τοῦ Ἀρφαξὰδ τοῦ Σὴμ τοῦ Νῶε τοῦ Λάμεχ τοῦ Μαθουσαλὰ τοῦ Ἑνὼχ τοῦ Ἰάρετ τοῦ Μαλελεὴλ τοῦ Καϊνὰμ τοῦ Ἐνὼς τοῦ Σὴθ τοῦ Ἀδὰμ τοῦ θεοῦ.
That points out an obvious weakness in the metric, it's not completely foolproof. Let's omit that and look at the previous sentences rated particularly hard:
  • Ephesians 01:15 Διὰ τοῦτο κἀγώ, ἀκούσας τὴν καθ’ ὑμᾶς πίστιν ἐν τῷ κυρίῳ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τὴν εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους, οὐ παύομαι εὐχαριστῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν μνείαν ποιούμενος ἐπὶ τῶν προσευχῶν μου, ἵνα ὁ θεὸς τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ πατὴρ τῆς δόξης, δώῃ ὑμῖν πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ ἀποκαλύψεως ἐν ἐπιγνώσει αὐτοῦ, πεφωτισμένους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τῆς καρδίας ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εἰδέναι ὑμᾶς τίς ἐστιν ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς κλήσεως αὐτοῦ, τίς ὁ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τῆς κληρονομίας αὐτοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις, καὶ τί τὸ ὑπερβάλλον μέγεθος τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς τοὺς πιστεύοντας κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τοῦ κράτους τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ
  • Colossians 01:03 Εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ θεῷ πατρὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν προσευχόμενοι, ἀκούσαντες τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην ἣν ἔχετε εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους διὰ τὴν ἐλπίδα τὴν ἀποκειμένην ὑμῖν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ἣν προηκούσατε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῆς ἀληθείας τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ παρόντος εἰς ὑμᾶς, καθὼς καὶ ἐν παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ ἐστὶν καρποφορούμενον καὶ αὐξανόμενον καθὼς καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν, ἀφ’ ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσατε καὶ ἐπέγνωτε τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ· καθὼς ἐμάθετε ἀπὸ Ἐπαφρᾶ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν, ὅς ἐστιν πιστὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν διάκονος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ καὶ δηλώσας ἡμῖν τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην ἐν πνεύματι.
  • 2 Thessalonians 01:05 ἔνδειγμα τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰς τὸ καταξιωθῆναι ὑμᾶς τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ θεοῦ, ὑπὲρ ἧς καὶ πάσχετε, εἴπερ δίκαιον παρὰ θεῷ ἀνταποδοῦναι τοῖς θλίβουσιν ὑμᾶς θλῖψιν καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς θλιβομένοις ἄνεσιν μεθ’ ἡμῶν ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλύψει τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ μετ’ ἀγγέλων δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ ἐν φλογὶ πυρός, διδόντος ἐκδίκησιν τοῖς μὴ εἰδόσι θεὸν καὶ τοῖς μὴ ὑπακούουσιν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ, οἵτινες δίκην τίσουσιν ὄλεθρον αἰώνιον ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ κυρίου καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς δόξης τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ, ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐνδοξασθῆναι ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ καὶ θαυμασθῆναι ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς πιστεύσασιν, ὅτι ἐπιστεύθη τὸ μαρτύριον ἡμῶν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς, ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ.
  • Ephesians 03:01 Τούτου χάριν ἐγὼ Παῦλος ὁ δέσμιος τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν τῶν ἐθνῶν— εἴ γε ἠκούσατε τὴν οἰκονομίαν τῆς χάριτος τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς δοθείσης μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς· κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν ἐγνωρίσθη μοι τὸ μυστήριον, καθὼς προέγραψα ἐν ὀλίγῳ, πρὸς ὃ δύνασθε ἀναγινώσκοντες νοῆσαι τὴν σύνεσίν μου ἐν τῷ μυστηρίῳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὃ ἑτέραις γενεαῖς οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθη τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ὡς νῦν ἀπεκαλύφθη τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ προφήταις ἐν πνεύματι, εἶναι τὰ ἔθνη συγκληρονόμα καὶ σύσσωμα καὶ συμμέτοχα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, οὗ ἐγενήθην διάκονος κατὰ τὴν δωρεὰν τῆς χάριτος τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς δοθείσης μοι κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ—
  • Ephesians 04:11 καὶ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν τοὺς μὲν ἀποστόλους, τοὺς δὲ προφήτας, τοὺς δὲ εὐαγγελιστάς, τοὺς δὲ ποιμένας καὶ διδασκάλους, πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων εἰς ἔργον διακονίας, εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, μέχρι καταντήσωμεν οἱ πάντες εἰς τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίστεως καὶ τῆς ἐπιγνώσεως τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰς ἄνδρα τέλειον, εἰς μέτρον ἡλικίας τοῦ πληρώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι, κλυδωνιζόμενοι καὶ περιφερόμενοι παντὶ ἀνέμῳ τῆς διδασκαλίας ἐν τῇ κυβείᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐν πανουργίᾳ πρὸς τὴν μεθοδείαν τῆς πλάνης, ἀληθεύοντες δὲ ἐν ἀγάπῃ αὐξήσωμεν εἰς αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα, ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλή, Χριστός, ἐξ οὗ πᾶν τὸ σῶμα συναρμολογούμενον καὶ συμβιβαζόμενον διὰ πάσης ἁφῆς τῆς ἐπιχορηγίας κατ’ ἐνέργειαν ἐν μέτρῳ ἑνὸς ἑκάστου μέρους τὴν αὔξησιν τοῦ σώματος ποιεῖται εἰς οἰκοδομὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ.
  • Colossians 01:09 Διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς, ἀφ’ ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσαμεν, οὐ παυόμεθα ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν προσευχόμενοι καὶ αἰτούμενοι ἵνα πληρωθῆτε τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ συνέσει πνευματικῇ, περιπατῆσαι ἀξίως τοῦ κυρίου εἰς πᾶσαν ἀρεσκείαν ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ καρποφοροῦντες καὶ αὐξανόμενοι τῇ ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει δυναμούμενοι κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν καὶ μακροθυμίαν μετὰ χαρᾶς, εὐχαριστοῦντες τῷ πατρὶ τῷ ἱκανώσαντι ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν μερίδα τοῦ κλήρου τῶν ἁγίων ἐν τῷ φωτί, ὃς ἐρρύσατο ἡμᾶς ἐκ τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ σκότους καὶ μετέστησεν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ, ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν· ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι·
This version uses syntax trees, so I could add measures of syntactic complexity fairly easily. It can be easily modified for other Greek texts as long as the lemmas are available.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Emma Ehrhardt » May 30th, 2015, 2:48 am

Very neat, Jonathan!

I really haven't thought more about measures of difficulty rating, so this gave me some things to chew on. It occurs to me that measures of difficulty really must be tailored to where a student started their Greek journey. Obviously the specific vocabulary list they've been introduced to matters, but what is harder to incorporate (for student- or class-specific measures) is what forms of what words are available. It quickly becomes a detailed list to keep track of.

For instance, Bob's course delays teaching the vocative case (or comparatives/superlatives) until relatively late in the semester. For the mid-term review he wants to generate a list of phrases or sentences that the students can practice on. But if he scores sentences solely based on lemma and length information, he will end up with some text that students haven't actually been introduced to. Querying the syntax trees then requires that you somehow be able to specify the lemma, but sometimes other grammatical characteristics as well.
Emma Ehrhardt
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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 30th, 2015, 2:45 pm

Emma Ehrhardt wrote:I really haven't thought more about measures of difficulty rating, so this gave me some things to chew on. It occurs to me that measures of difficulty really must be tailored to where a student started their Greek journey. Obviously the specific vocabulary list they've been introduced to matters, but what is harder to incorporate (for student- or class-specific measures) is what forms of what words are available. It quickly becomes a detailed list to keep track of.
Yes, unless you have a systematic way of presenting words (roughly in frequency order?) and grammatical forms so you know what to use.

I notice that the Dale-Chall index rates reading above the 4th grade reading level, and uses words that a 4th grader would know as the baseline. So to do something analogous for someone with a year of Greek, using the 1st year Greek vocabulary as a baseline makes sense. But for someone much earlier in the process, the baseline set of words may be very small, and there are fewer sentences to work with. I could generate lists of sentences sorted by difficulty for someone who knows only the words used more often than 10x, 20x, 30x, 50x, 100x, and 200x, and that might be helpful in choosing materials at various levels. Or we could take a book like Mounce, which introduces the vocabulary systematically and gives you word lists for each chapter, and compute difficulty for someone who has gotten beyond a given chapter. We could also look at the grammatical forms taught up to that point, but I would prefer to do that in a way that keeps the formula reasonably simple. We might give major penalty points for participles before they are introduced, and still treat them as more difficult than other forms later on.

So this really should be configurable, and custom word lists are important.
Emma Ehrhardt wrote:For instance, Bob's course delays teaching the vocative case (or comparatives/superlatives) until relatively late in the semester. For the mid-term review he wants to generate a list of phrases or sentences that the students can practice on. But if he scores sentences solely based on lemma and length information, he will end up with some text that students haven't actually been introduced to. Querying the syntax trees then requires that you somehow be able to specify the lemma, but sometimes other grammatical characteristics as well.
And he might also want to choose sentences for introducing a new grammatical form, using examples that illustrate that form, but otherwise use forms and vocabulary that are already known to the student.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » May 31st, 2015, 3:39 pm

A few more ideas to try out - and I probably will be trying some of these.
  • Sorting paragraphs by reading level rather than sentences to create a "graded reader" with a lot of passages.
  • Scoring all books of the New Testament and LXX by reading level.
  • Adding the Septuagint - does anyone have a Septuagint in XML with paragraphs and morphology?
  • Scoring based on the vocabulary of a known book. If you know the vocabulary of John, what else is reasonably easy to read?
Again, the goal is to give people the ability to read significant amounts of text at their own level, help instructors choose passages, etc. This is intended for people who have had a good first year course in Greek, and are comfortable at least reading John.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by mwpalmer » June 6th, 2015, 2:08 pm

The system we use to rank difficulty can be modified slightly over time to provide more accurate results. For example, we might start be weighting frequency of occurrence heavily, but with time we would need to evaluate difficulty also by complexity of morphological structure for words and syntactic structure for clauses as well.

For example, the following clause from Matthew 2:2 has some vocabulary that does not appear with great frequency, but its structure is straightforward, and the story from which it is taken is well known.

εἴδομεν γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀστέρα ἐν τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν προσκυνῆσαι αὐτῷ.

A few verses later (Matthew 2:11) we encounter this compound clause with a participial clause modifying the main clause:

καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν εἶδον τὸ παιδίον μετὰ Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ

While the vocabulary is reasonably common, the structure is more complex. Eventually we would want our graded reader to be able to account for such differences, but starting with frequency is an excellent beginning, and I look forward to seeing great progress on this in the year or two to come.
Micheal W. Palmer

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Re: Best Passages to Read after 1st Year Greek

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 6th, 2015, 2:17 pm

I've done some experiments where I add a cost factor for participles. It does seem to help. I can also use any vocabulary list as a basis for the difficulty estimates, e.g. the list of words used up to Chapter 3, or the list of words found in the Gospel of John for students who start with that.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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