Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Concordance

The prod of drip, drips and dropped drops.

Concordance is impossible. It is not the way language works. There are just too many exceptions. A large part of language is very fluid. Large parts of the puzzle of the corpus of the OT are a vague sea of colour. Precision is impossible. Why did it take me 10 years to figure this out?  Repeated sounds are important but in the process of translation, many compromises are required.

I have 227 distinct roots in Hebrew where I allow some overlap with English words. That doesn't seem like very many. It's about 6% of all the Hebrew roots (at present). The problem I just noticed is that this accounts for 135,471 words in the corpus. That's about 44% of the puzzle!  Even if I tighten up my concordance to take into account English roots (to reduce my manual error rate by a little - though I will probably encounter most errors by serendipity), it would hardly make a noticeable difference.

When I add the other 104,000 or so words that are proper names or grammatical words - these of course not devoid of sense, but connecting the other words in the language, then I see that over 78% of the words in the puzzle are either cloudy, connectors, or simply pointers. Perhaps that magnifies the 22% of words over which the translator thinks there is some limited control.

What raised these tests in me was that I noticed my usage of drop and drip. drip I have used for 2 distinct similar roots: רעף (Psalms 65:12-13) and דלף (Psalm 119:28). This is an allowed exception for the acrostic - so no problem with drip. And drop, a more common word, is נטף, but I noted that I used it once for אגל as drops once in Job. It should be more like collection or store - note store is also אגר. I have replaced drops with cache. I noticed this by accident when looking for a gloss for Deuteronomy 32:2 for ערף (normally the scruff of the neck). Note the simple reversal of letters, ערף and רעף. They are the same word mangled. Maybe it's a joke, deliberate scruff-talk in this song, because we know what's coming... (or do we?)

Note the onomatopoeia in both English and Hebrew: all the above words in both languages end in p (ף).

[PS - one must still try, and where a compromise is made, have a good rationale, and then minimize it as possible. Much of the oceanic haze an be seen through.]

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