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COMPUTERIZED STATISTICAL LINGUISTICS AND THE PROBLEM OF THE UNITY OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH / על בדיקה בלשנית אחת באמצעות מחשב אלקטרוני בדבר אחדות ספר ישעיהו

יהודה ת. רדאי and Y.T. Radday
Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies / דברי הקונגרס העולמי למדעי היהדות
Vol. ה‎, Volume IV, DIVISION IV: HEBREW LANGUAGE; JEWISH LANGUAGES; OTHER SEMITIC LANGUAGES; BIBLE TRANSLATIONS; JEWISH MUSIC; JEWISH FOLKLORE; JEWISH ART / כרך ד, חטיבה ד: לשון עברית; לשונות היהודים לתפוצותיהם; לשונות שמיות אחרות; תרגומי המקרא; מוסיקה יהודית; פולקלור יהודי; אמנות יהודית‎ (תשכ"ט / 1969), pp. 247-250
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23522711
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
COMPUTERIZED STATISTICAL LINGUISTICS AND THE PROBLEM OF THE UNITY OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH / על בדיקה בלשנית אחת באמצעות מחשב אלקטרוני בדבר אחדות ספר ישעיהו
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Abstract

The following test is one of many which were applied to the text of Isaiah in order to quantify, and thus to objectify, the problem of its unity. The main value of such tests is that they investigate language habits of which the author himself was unaware and which were beyond his conscious control. Frequencies of transitions were counted by a computer between four parts of speech in six chapter groups. The differences between the findings were then statistically examined as to the probability that these groups may have originated in a common language population. When Wickmann (T.H., Aix-la-Chapelle, Germ.) applied this test to the writings of Goethe, Kant and Herder, he found that with sample pairs drawn from the same author the probability of a common origin fluctuated between 8 and 70 p.c., while cross-comparison between the authors showed probabilities fluctuating between 10-20 and 10-135 p c. (scil. 0.01 = conventionally written 10-2). Wickmann has thus proved transition frequencies to be a reliable characteristic for homogeneity diagnosis. Since, however, he based himself on twelve parts of speech, whereas in Isaiah only four such were distinguished, it is only reasonable to expect less eccentric values. The following table shows the probability values found (in p.c.). It may be concluded that (a) Groups A and B were most probably written by the same author; (b) Group D is completely isolated; (c) the chances that Groups C, D, E and F were written by the author of Group A are practically nil; and (d) Groups C, E and F consist of heterogeneous material. Twenty other tests confirmed these conclusions almost without exception. [Table: see text]

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