Comments on AGNT

From: John Baima (
Date: Tue Jun 03 1997 - 10:09:13 EDT

When I read Dale Wheeler's post re: grammar tagging systems, why not two?,
I thought that the Friberg's may have wanted to respond to that. Below is
Timothy Friberg's response.

     As the conceiver and implementer of the Analytical Greek New Testament
project (often known as AGNT or the Friberg tags), I am interested in other
developments in the field. Since my wife (and fellow developer and
maintainer of AGNT) and I current work very near the edge of the earth
(indeed, one translation of name of the city where we work is "End View"!),
we are not very often party to the ongoing discussions that so many others
benefit from and contribute to. But as John Baima (Silver Mountain
Software, and electronic agent for AGNT) was kind enough to send us a
recent squib, I thought I would make a few comments.
     First, just for the record AGNT was first and foremost developed as
"an electronic database" and "morphology first" beginning in 1976. Our
initial development of and analysis by means of AGNT was entirely computer
based. Only later did we move toward the printed format (Baker Book
     The analytical choices were made to aid serious analysis of the Greek
text by means of computer. However, at that time we had no idea how
popular and powerful computer programs would become. Such developments
have changed the face of computational linguistics beyond what we could
have imagined.
     We did add functional items where appropriate. The model from which
these took their inspiration was that of John Beekman, the then translation
coordinator of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
     I don't remember any adjustment of major import that was made in order
to get the computer project hard-copy compatible.
     The choices made (even to including putting pronouns under nouns and
adverbs under adjectives) were made for linguistic first and computational
second reasons. At no time in the development phrase (nor since, really)
have we had to field complaints that our system isn't fully accessible for
whatever purpose. Perhaps the reason for that is two-fold, neither due to
us. First, the software developers have gone beyond our database in ways
they perceive will meet the needs of the potential users. Second, Gramcord
was developed parallel to our system to be interactive from the start. We
blessed Paul Miller in that direction from the beginning.
     For the last couple years our electronic database has been available
in a revised format that is both corrected and simplified over the previous
version. Though I deposited with John Baima a short summary of the major
differences between the earlier version and the present one, it probably
isn't widely recognized that a revision is available, much less what the
differences are. We have plans to publish with Baker a hard copy version
of the revision to include four lines of code: Greek, Analysis, Lemma,
English gloss. At the moment we are first waiting for them to publish
(this year) our Analytical Greek Lexicon (ANLEX) in hard copy. Within
weeks of its appearance we expect that the electronic form of the same will
be made available. (There is a current form of ANLEX available (largely
through a misunderstanding) from Hermeneutika that will immediately be
embarrassingly obsolete at the appearance of the first official version of
     For those having either real or dream interest, the translation
department of Wycliffe Bible Translators is currently in the middle of a
very long-range project develop a "multiline" database of the GNT that will
contain everything I read about in the recent discussion and much more
besides to include the Louw and Nida index number for semantic studies.
     I appreciated the discussion on copyrighted databases. Ours is in
fact so copyrighted. Despite the expected protections of the law, it has
been pirated by one well-known vender. What little we make on royalties
could begin to approach legal fees to right that theft.
           Timothy Friberg


John Baima
Silver Mountain Software 1029 Tanglewood Dr, Cedar Hill TX 75104-3019
Fax *972* 293-6641 Voice *972* 293-2920

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