Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

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Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Patricia Walters » June 19th, 2011, 4:23 pm

I am writing a Perl software program to analyze Unicode Biblical Greek, based on the methodology I developed by hand in The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Reassessment of the Evidence (Cambridge University Press, 2009). I call this methodology "prose composition criticism" since (following Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his literary critical essays on prose composition) it deals with matters of style such as hiatus, dissonance, and other elements. Because I have just begun, my first hurdle is syllabification. The entire project, of which syllabification is only the first step, will undoubtedly take a good amount of time...

Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters
 
Posts: 7
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 12:23 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby mgiannini » June 19th, 2011, 9:19 pm

Will this be an open source project?
Matthew Giannini
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Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby NathanSmith » June 19th, 2011, 9:58 pm

Sounds very exciting. Are you planning on sharing your code when you are done? I would appreciate it.

Also, are you fully settled on perl? I wonder if the Python Natural Language Toolkit module could be adapted to your purpose.
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Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 20th, 2011, 7:27 am

Patricia Walters wrote:I am writing a Perl software program to analyze Unicode Biblical Greek, based on the methodology I developed by hand in The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Reassessment of the Evidence (Cambridge University Press, 2009). I call this methodology "prose composition criticism" since (following Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his literary critical essays on prose composition) it deals with matters of style such as hiatus, dissonance, and other elements.


Can you say more about this methodology? Do you have any articles online?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Patricia Walters » June 20th, 2011, 7:59 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Patricia Walters wrote:I am writing a Perl software program to analyze Unicode Biblical Greek, based on the methodology I developed by hand in The Assumed Authorial Unity of Luke and Acts: A Reassessment of the Evidence (Cambridge University Press, 2009). I call this methodology "prose composition criticism" since (following Dionysius of Halicarnassus in his literary critical essays on prose composition) it deals with matters of style such as hiatus, dissonance, and other elements.


Can you say more about this methodology? Do you have any articles online?



The methodology (as developed in my book) challenges the authorial unity of Luke and Acts by first looking at passages from Luke and Acts deemed most likely to be authorial, i.e., seams and summaries. Second, I collected actual examples of prose compositional elements from the works of ancient critics (Aristotle in Rhetoric Book 3, Pseudo-Demetrius, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Pseudo-Longinus). Stylistic elements important in antiquity include hiatus, dissonance, clause and sentence transitions, and others. I do not propose that the author of Luke or Acts used these elements; indeed, by not paying attention to them, the author/s would have likely written in a style for which no differences beyond normal, random stylistic variability would appear. Third and finally, I examined the Luke and Acts passages based on the prose compositional elements. This means I noted the occurrences of each element in the passages and entered the numbers in a statistical program (MINITAB). The result was that patterns of the prose compositional elements in Luke differed either highly significantly or significantly from those in Acts. I am able to say with a ninety-nine (or in one case, ninety-five) percent level of confidence that the author of the Luke passages was not the same as the author of the Acts passages.

For the full story, you will need to consult the book... Thank you for your interest.

Patricia Walters
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters
 
Posts: 7
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 12:23 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Patricia Walters » June 20th, 2011, 8:05 am

NathanSmith wrote:Sounds very exciting. Are you planning on sharing your code when you are done? I would appreciate it.

Also, are you fully settled on perl? I wonder if the Python Natural Language Toolkit module could be adapted to your purpose.



Yes, I am settled on Perl. Many years ago (before entering the biblical scholarship field) I earned an advanced degree in computer science. Thus, I am resharpening my programming skills and Perl is a language that works well for text strings.

As for sharing the code, I will cross that bridge when I come to it... Right now, the focus is the project itself. Thank you for asking, though.

Patricia Walters
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters
 
Posts: 7
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 12:23 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Patricia Walters » June 20th, 2011, 8:07 am

mgiannini wrote:Will this be an open source project?


Because the project is just underway, I do not know yet. Thank you for your interest, however.

Patricia Walters
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters
 
Posts: 7
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 12:23 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 20th, 2011, 4:36 pm

Patricia Walters wrote:This means I noted the occurrences of each element in the passages and entered the numbers in a statistical program (MINITAB). The result was that patterns of the prose compositional elements in Luke differed either highly significantly or significantly from those in Acts. I am able to say with a ninety-nine (or in one case, ninety-five) percent level of confidence that the author of the Luke passages was not the same as the author of the Acts passages.


Could you say something about your statistical model?

I expected differences between Luke and Acts would be based on purely descriptive statistics, where does the confidence level determination come in? I usually think of confidence levels in the context of sampling statistics.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1501
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 20th, 2011, 4:38 pm

Perl vs. Python?

I don't think we allow religious debate on B-Greek ....
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
Jonathan Robie
 
Posts: 1501
Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Re: Writing software to analyze Biblical Greek

Postby Patricia Walters » June 20th, 2011, 5:25 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Patricia Walters wrote:This means I noted the occurrences of each element in the passages and entered the numbers in a statistical program (MINITAB). The result was that patterns of the prose compositional elements in Luke differed either highly significantly or significantly from those in Acts. I am able to say with a ninety-nine (or in one case, ninety-five) percent level of confidence that the author of the Luke passages was not the same as the author of the Acts passages.


Could you say something about your statistical model?

I expected differences between Luke and Acts would be based on purely descriptive statistics, where does the confidence level determination come in? I usually think of confidence levels in the context of sampling statistics.


I used the Chi-Square Contingency Table Test, after numerous consultations with a statistics professor who guided me through the statistical maze. One example of a Null Hypothesis is this: "There is no difference in dissonance between the Luke and Acts passages beyond normal, random variability."

When the Chi-Square Contingency Table Test returns a P-Value indicating a highly significant result, another intrinsic explanation for the differences in dissonance is required. (Normal, random variability is not a sufficient explanation.) By logical deduction and a review of other possible explanations, I believe it must come down to different authorship.

A much fuller description is contained in the book...

Patricia Walters
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters, Ph.D.
Department of Religious Studies
Rockford College
Beloit College
Patricia Walters
 
Posts: 7
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 12:23 pm

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