Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Visualizing structure

The thing about structure is you wonder if it really is deliberate. I have been graphing the section of Qohelet from Hebrew verse 5:7 to 6:9. It won't yield to automation just yet. There are 304 words in the section which repeat or not. The repeating roots are shown in this image. Which are significant to the argument? I should just sit down and map them one by one, but I am looking for an algorithmic way to prep a diagram and show the original text to allow seeing of the argument. Just glancing down the x axis - some of these words are characteristic of the argument, some are grammatical and may be characteristic of the author's style, and some may be structurally significant. If I drew the diagram, I would impose my meaning onto it - and that can be useful - but was it an accident?

I have drawn lots of diagrams - see the colourful portrait of the psalms always at the link on the right. With manual drawing, I would not have pointed out particles like lo and ki and gam or asher or col or lo - to him, unless they were unusual. But in this case, tov, shamash, havel, I would point out. (I am just reading the graph x axis from right to left.)  By the way - my root derivation algorithm is only about 90% accurate. It has no logic for assimilated root letters.