Participles and Computer searches

From: John Kendall (
Date: Fri Mar 26 1999 - 07:17:30 EST

Peter Head wrote,

>The two lists could only agree on five out of twenty-seven NT
>documents!! The differences are up to 20%. Either this proves we should
>pay no attention to such statistics, or that we need to think rather
>carefully about who constructed the databases and what we are asking the
>engines to search for.
>I have adapted the first list posted (Acc.) to reveal these differences.
>How shall we explain them?


If you use Bibleworks 4 to search the Friberg database using the command
line string <'*@&v[rp]*> you get exactly the same results as those you've
quoted for Accordance.

The discrepancies between Bibleworks and Accordance are caused by the way
the Friberg database codes participles. The Fribergs have a separate code
for words they interpret as imperatival participles. I've taken account of
these in my search string.

However, using Bibleworks 4, I can't construct a search string that
precisely replicates your results for Bibleworks 3.5. Maybe there's been
some updating and correcting of the Friberg database.

Bibleworks 4.0 now has an additional GNT database which is coded on a purely
morphological basis. My impression is that, provided you understand the
coding systems, the reliability of these databases is very high indeed.


John Kendall

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