I’m looking forward to tomorrow (November 19, 2016)! Jonathan Robie and I will present our ongoing work on the communicative Koine Greek course, γραφὴ ζῶσα. Our presentation will take place at the 1:00 pm session of the Global Education and Research Technology section of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).
We will demonstrate the results of combining technology with best practices in second language instruction, where even an ancient language can become a living language for those acquiring it.
We are in San Antonio, TX with a very large number of Biblical Scholars, but our presentation will attract mainly Linguists, Greek Teachers, Software Engineers, and Open Data Geeks. The American Academy of Religion (AAR) is also meeting here. The SBL and the AAR have jointly coordinated their national meetings for many years.
We would love to see you at 1:00 in room 209 of the Convention Center.
It’s less than two weeks till the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta, Georgia. I will be presenting jointly with Jonathan Robie in the session, Applied Linguistics for Biblical Languages; Global Education and Research Technology (S22-206). Here’s the abstract for our presentation:
Systematically Generating Examples from a Syntactic Treebank for Internalizing Language
This presentation is about systematically generating the materials needed to teach the Greek verb. The verb is particularly difficult for many Greek students to master, and difficult to teach. In keeping with best practices in research based language instruction, we argue that using authentic texts with appropriate scaffolding is essential to achieving reading competency. But finding optimal examples in large enough quantity to use in such instruction can be overwhelming. We believe that intelligent use of a syntactic treebank can greatly simplify this process, creating teaching materials that can greatly improve mastery. We generate a complete set of examples for each verb in the New Testament using XQuery and syntactic treebanks to illustrate the constituent patterns and morphology, starting with the most common uses of each verb, then less common uses. Teachers can select the examples they want to use, either for classroom instruction or computerized presentation. We also show how to convert these examples for use in existing software commonly used for language instruction and learning.
If you plan to be there, feel free to contact me using the contact form on this blog. I would be delighted to meet you.
During the meeting I will be tweeting about my experience from @grklinguist.
This weekend I met with Mike Aubrey, Jonathan Robie, Randall Tan, James Tauber, Andy Wu, and several others to think about the future of Greek Computational Linguistics. Four of these I had previously known only through the Internet. It was nice to finally meet them in person. The other, Jonathan Robie, was my co-presenter at SBL.
Are you going to SBL in San Diego? I am, and I’d love the chance to talk with any of you who are going to be there. If you will be there, contact me via the Contact page here.
Jonathan Robie and I will be doing a presentation on Monday afternoon/evening for a joint session of the Global Education and Research Technology Section and the Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies Section. This is a themed session entitled “Teaching the Bible in an Open World: Open Resources for Teaching and Learning with the Bible” (S24-317a). Our presentation is entitled Greek Syntactic Analysis for Humans (“Does this analysis make my text look fat?”). Here’s the abstract:
By exposing the internal structure of a text, syntax trees represent important elements of meaning, and can be used to explain difficult constructs, teach Greek reading skills or for syntactic queries. But the phrase-structure syntax trees most widely used in biblical studies are redundant, complex, based on theories that are no longer widely accepted, and poorly model the function of the Greek verb. We combine the strengths of dependency grammars and phrase structure grammars to create a more flexible and powerful model. We use a hybrid approach. Some features of Greek syntax, such as Noun Phrases and Prepositional Phrases, neatly fit traditional phrase structure categories. Verbs do not. We represent verbs and their relationships with phrase structures in terms of a verb’s arguments. We have created an analysis using this model, based on the Global Bible Initiative (formerly Asia Bible Society) Greek New Testament syntax trees from biblicalhumanities.org (a phrase structure treebank) and the PROEIL treebank of the New Testament created by Dag Haug (a dependency structure treebank). Using Koine Greek texts, we present new ways to visualize the structure of Greek syntax that are simpler and more closely fit the language. Users can examine texts directly, choosing whether to highlight phrase structure (our Phrase View) or verbs and their relationships to surrounding constituents (Verb View). The same model can be used to better support syntactic queries and for teaching the Greek language.
Our presentation is the last of five in this session that runs from 4:00 to 6:30 pm. Ours is likely to start around 6:00. Unfortunately, this session is scheduled at the same time as one of the meetings of the Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics Section. Oh well… no schedule is perfect.
On June 30, while I was away at a retreat in the mountains of North Carolina with my daughter, Mike Aubrey announced over at ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ that the Greek Language & Linguistics section of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) has a new website up and running. You can find that site at
The site has preliminary abstracts for the papers that will be presented in November.
Here’s what the site says about its purpose:
This site has an informational purpose. While it provides some information from past meetings, it will mainly serve to post announcements about future meetings of the Section at SBL and provide details of the papers to be presented.
This seems to hint that more information on the papers will be forthcoming, but it’s hard to tell.
The Greek Language and Linguistics Section of the SBL holds two sessions at each meeting of the SBL. One is an “Open Session” often presenting papers on a wide variety of topics. The other session is “Thematic,” that is, focused on a single theme. This year’s thematic session will focus on discourse markers. If you are interested in discourse studies and their relation to Linguistics, you will want to read the abstracts for the “Thematic Session.” Follow the link above and scroll down to find them.