Re: diagramming vocatives

From: Trevor Jenkins (
Date: Fri Apr 30 1999 - 06:53:16 EDT

Since I subscribed to this list (and other related ones) I've been puzzling
over the term "diagramming". It's not a concept I've come across in my
modern language learning, Swedish and British Sign Language---well okay I
have seen diagrams of BSL but they're different. :-)

Daniel Ria–o <> in his latest posting gave me the
one thing I needed: an example.

> Or. in Cont.
> -------------------------
> | |
> | |
> | |
> O (syntagm in vocative)
> ---------------
> | |
> | |
> SV Sub.
> ---------- ----------
> | | | |
> ... ... ... ...

Gosh, it's just a parse tree. Now those are things I really understand. I'm
a computing scientist and I used to write programming language compilers.
Drawing a parse tree was a technique that I used when trying to learn a
programming language. In all my English classes we never parsed a sentence;
we were'nt taught (English) grammar at all; the only time we were taught
grammar was in our French class but I never progressed very far in that

> I am writing now for a paper the theoretical foundations for that, but you
> must be thinking by now what an ugly thing to read it should be if written
> by me in English!

There is much in the comp. sci. literature on parse trees that might be
acessible to you. Though the technique seems to have fallen out of favour
of late. :-(

> Nota Bene: I do not diagram: I parse the text in a special editor and tell
> the program to do the diagramming for me: It is much faster!

Is this special editor something you had written or is it generally
available? Sounds like an interesting project. Something that could cope
with both Greek and Hebrew, maybe even Aramaic, would be really useful.

Neither of the books I have been using to teach myself B-Greek cover
"diagramming" (Wenham's "Elements of ..." and MacNair's "Discovering"). So
what resources should I look for to assimilate this technique. Or should I
just rely upon my comp. sci. knowledge?

Regards, Trevor


<>< Re: deemed!

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