Barry Hofstetter wrote:Sorry about the "clever parsing software" comment, but I really did think you used something automatic.
I didn't think anything bad of the comment. Because I myself did the parsing using the grey matter as "hardware", the clever comment was (unwittingly) complementary.
It would be interesting to get some form of analysis like this across a wide range of texts. Customisation vs. standardisation is a continual juggling act. There is a degree of subjective tailoring possible in creating those diagrams. The inability to make design level decisions, would be a major drawback in any implementation of automation. Designing a tree for somebody, whom you can justifiably assume will be able to read the Greek, requires a different approach than for somebody struggling with the language, that you hope the tree will help with some very basic understanding of a particular point or relationship between points.
I had hoped that the Arethusa
site would have been such a thing, but so far I haven't worked out how to use it.
Barry Hofstetter wrote:But this actually looks interesting, something I could use for my students from time to time, especially with long periodic Ciceronian sentences.
Longer sentences do get a bit complex, but that is a feature of the Classical languages.
Within the transformation stage if the SAMR model for the implementation and integration of digital technologies into educational settings, this could allow for some good engagement. The multilinear nature of a hierarchical diagram allows for Modification of reading and analysis tasks in regards to both categorisation and comparison. Moreover, the top down nature of the diagrams, allows for degrees of depth of analysis of meaning, from whole sentence right down to individual morphological units. That progressively deeper and more complex analysis can allow a Redefinition of the way that a cyclic presentation of grammar in use within syntactic units can be managed and presented. Those things would not, of course be "new", in so far as tree diagramming is not new, but the ease with which they can be created and changed, allows for a number of possibilities.
Progressive analysis is possible by working the tree around the text. Here is a small example from Diodorus Siculus, Library 16.20.4.
Begin with the text, thus:
- διὰ δὲ τὸ παράδοξον τῆς παρουσίας καὶ τὴν ἀταξίαν καὶ τὴν ταραχὴν τῶν διαφορούντων τὰς κτήσεις εὐχερῶς ἅπαντες ἐχειροῦντο.
1. Add the first level, the sentence:
- [S διὰ δὲ τὸ παράδοξον τῆς παρουσίας καὶ τὴν ἀταξίαν καὶ τὴν ταραχὴν τῶν διαφορούντων τὰς κτήσεις εὐχερῶς ἅπαντες ἐχειροῦντο.]
2. Next, make the first logical break, which in this case is between the adverbial prepositional phrase and the verb, thus:
- [S [VP [AdvP διὰ δὲ τὸ παράδοξον τῆς παρουσίας καὶ τὴν ἀταξίαν καὶ τὴν ταραχὴν τῶν διαφορούντων τὰς κτήσεις] [VP εὐχερῶς ἅπαντες ἐχειροῦντο]]]
3. Then, the elements of the adverbial prepositional phrase could be isolated, like this:
[S [VP [Conj δὲ][AdvP [PrepP [Prep διὰ] [NP τὸ παράδοξον τῆς παρουσίας καὶ τὴν ἀταξίαν καὶ τὴν ταραχὴν τῶν διαφορούντων τὰς κτήσεις]]] [VP εὐχερῶς ἅπαντες ἐχειροῦντο]]]
4. And then a further step in analysing the structure within the preposition's noun phrase:
[S [VP [Conj δὲ][AdvP [PrepP [Prep διὰ] [NP [NP τὸ παράδοξον τῆς παρουσίας] [Conj καὶ] [NP τὴν ἀταξίαν καὶ τὴν ταραχὴν τῶν διαφορούντων τὰς κτήσεις]]]] [VP εὐχερῶς ἅπαντες ἐχειροῦντο]]]
5. Following that, the relationship between nouns expressed by the genitives:
[S [VP [Conj δὲ][AdvP [PrepP [Prep διὰ] [NP [NP [NP τὸ παράδοξον] [NP τῆς παρουσίας]] [Conj καὶ] [NP [NP τὴν ἀταξίαν καὶ τὴν ταραχὴν] [NP τῶν διαφορούντων τὰς κτήσεις]]]]] [VP εὐχερῶς ἅπαντες ἐχειροῦντο]]]
With the aid of perhaps a ppt or animation, the once static tree diagram, now becomes a dynamic tool for presenting syntactic relationships between elements in the sentence. An animated picture of words (from the text) is worth a thousand words (of explanation).