On my way to Leiden…

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for a workshop at the Lorentz Center at the University of Leiden focusing linguistic databases for biblical texts and languages:

Biblical Scholarship and Humanities Computing: Data Types, Text, Language and Interpretation

I’m hoping that I’ll have an opportunity to blog about it as we go, but I don’t know what things will look like until I get there. We’ll see. I’m looking forward to meeting a number of people whom I’ve only dialogued online (whether e-mail, this blog, or B-Greek).

From the description:

[T]he question to be discussed by biblical scholars and ICT specialists is: how to deal with a historically grown and changed set of literary and linguistic data? How can we analyse, store and retrieve linguistic data at the level of syntax and discourse, especially when we know that texts have been reworked and updated during the long period of their transmission?

The research question is: can one go beyond databases that just add learned annotations to linguistic knowledge? Some examples. When using the existing data base for research of ‘verbal valence patterns’ one will find patterns and functions not being present in classical lexica.

The organizing team, a collaboration by specialists in Greek texts, Hebrew texts and in data bases designed for research in the Humanities, will prepare this colloquium by debates and experiments on (1) linguistic system versus unique literary artefacts and (2) the challenges of historical change: texts, variants and ancient translations. So our aim is to start the colloquium with a presentation of some models to be discussed based on input from the various disciplines involved. After presentations of type (1) and (2) a computer specialist will react, ask questions and make proposals (3).