Logos 6: Perks for Language Nerds

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by Kris (with a "K") As I'm sure you've heard, Logos 6 is out, and the reviews are piling in. Favorite features and general surveys can be found all over: Rick Brannan, Jeremy Thompson, Joel Watts, Abram K-J, Aaron Armstrong, etc. But for the readers of OSS (Old School Script) I'd like to give you some of the features that will make your heart skip a beat. So make sure you're sitting down, or these new perks might do it for you.

Perks for Language Nerds

If you're a Biblical Language nerd, there’s (at least) 4 new features and 1 big improvement in Logos 6 that you’re going to love: 1) Lexicon interface, 2) Inline Search, 3) Text Converter, 4) Morphology Charts, and finally 5) Bible Word Study.

1. Lexicon Interface

If you’re like me, you’ve had your fair share of headaches from trying to read an entry in BDB from one line to the next. Or from just trying to figure out when one subentry ends, and the next one begins. Now, thanks to some grueling work done by our Content Innovation department, there’s a new optional look to the mainline lexicons (i.e., BDB, HALOT, BDAG). Finding what you’re looking for shouldn’t be so hard now: just select "Outline Formatting" under the visual filters option.

With print editions this feature would be a joke to consider (i.e., aside from cost, do you have any idea how heavy this would make a lexicon!), but with digital there are no bounds. Page numbers—what's that?

<<before>>

bdb -

<<after>> bdb +

2. Inline Search

This may be old news to some blog readers but it's certainly a feature worth mentioning. And though "inline search" is not specific to Biblical Language resources (you can use it anywhere!), it's a great feature to be exploited when digging in a lexica, grammar, or original language text.

At first glance it may seem just as snazzy as the default "search" option (⌘/Ctrl +"F"), but the truth is, Inline Search does a lot more. For instance you can search for a specific lemma or root, Hebrew (h:___) or Greek (g:___) and even filter the search range according to a specific span of texts (e.g., Matt–John) or a customized highlighter/emphasis markup set you've used. These options really turn a status-quo search feature into a more robust all seeing eye. (No—I'm not in the Illuminati).

inline

3. Text Converter

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent way too much time in the past working on transliterating Biblical Hebrew into some other scheme to fit a journal’s prescribed style guide. Now, the Text Convertor tool does all that work for you! Simply copy and paste the word (or string of text!) you need converted, and then choose from TEN different formatting styles.

txt cnvter

4. Morphology Charts

If the last two perks didn’t get you excited, this shou—scratch that. You should probably just quit reading, cause this one speaks for itself. Just type in any Hebrew/Greek word and presto! You get a complete morphological breakdown of the word. I looked up δικαιόω (g:dikiaow) and got this:

morph search dikiaow

From this big picture overview certain trends stand out. For instance, when δικαιόω is a verb (and not a participle or infinitive) it is only used 3 times with an active voice (i.e., the subject of the verb is fulfilling the action of the verb). That’s only 3/23 instances (12%). Every other instance the voice is middle/passive. This immediately peaks my interest, as I’m now concerned with trying to figure out why this might be the case. And by clicking on an entry/box I’m able to bring up the occurrences of whatever instances fit the criteria of the assigned box, and thus continue analyzing why this active vs. middle/passive voice imbalance is so prominent. (This is where a case-frame analysis might come in handy—*hint hint*—which by the way, is another favorite feature).

5. Improvements: “Bible Word Study”

A while back (before I worked for Logos) I wrote a post complaining about the presentation of the data results you get from a tool in the software known as “Bible Word Study”. In a nutshell I was concerned with the focus on translation values in the beautiful pie chart that a users eyes are drawn to. I’d rather have a user visually oriented to a word’s semantic potential by a display of its senses not it’s potential translation values. Well… it’s happened! The pie charts are now sensitive to a word’s potential senses. O happy day! Now, even though the translation based pie chart is still there (which certainly has its benefits), you can drag and move the sense based pie chart towards the top of the display to be one of the pieces of data you first see after opting to do a “Bible Word Study.”

With the example below you can see how useless it can be to pay attention to translation values alone. In my selected Bible translation (the Lexham English Bible), EVERY TIME ὕδωρ is translated "water". But this does NOTHING for telling you what senses might be associated with ὕδωρ. On the contrary, the "Senses" tab provides all the necessary details to provide a better idea of how ὕδωρ was used in the Greek New Testament—for example, I can now see all those instances where someone (Sunday School answer please) is called "the living water" (viz. a metaphorical extension of the more concrete sense of "water").

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