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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Corpus Linguistics and Textual History: A Computer-Assisted Interdisciplinary Approach to the Peshitta
Keulen, P.S.F. van and W.Th. van Peursen, editors

Assen, The Netherlands: Van Gorcum, 2006 pp. xi + 370. Ä109.00

Series Information
Studia Semitica Neerlandica, 48
Edited by P. C. Beentjes, et al.

Description: Over the last few decades the use of the computer has become increasingly important in biblical studies. However, a combination of computer linguistics with diachronic text-critical and text-historical approaches has hardly ever taken place. Quite often, there is mutual misunderstanding between computer-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, the 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.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, 1-2 Kings, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Historical Approaches, History, Textual Criticism

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Review by Johann Cook
Published 4/14/2007
Citation: Johann Cook, review of P.s.f. Van Keulen And W.th. Van Peursen, eds., Corpus Linguistics and Textual History: A Computer-Assisted Interdisciplinary Approach to the Peshitta, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2007).


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