On the drawing board: future enhancements to AGNT

When we started the AGNT project in the summer of 1976, we only had one goal in mind, that of tagging the entire Greek New Testament in a way helpful to translators in the field. Of course that grew over the years to the place where the AGNT project is today. What of the future?

1.  Currently we have two big projects in process.

a. The first is putting together all the pieces of having two parallel versions of AGNT based on different takes of voice in Greek—let us say “traditional” and “innovating.”


b. The second is the thorough revising of ANLEX and the follow-up tagging-of-ANLEX-and-pointing-of-AGNT task that will surely consume the greater part of a decade. This is input to the highlighting within ANLEX lexical write-ups of the source information displayed in AGNT as “English reference glosses” or ERGs.


2. It should also be pointed out that ongoing maintenance and point-by-point correction and improvement of our several databases is a never-ending endeavor that always requires our attention.


3. As to additional tasks that we would like to see implemented, there is no shortage. Below we give just some of the more salient, howbeit of different priorities.

a.  Mini-task, relatively speaking: check relative pronouns for case attraction (to be noted in tags and/or annotations); check prepositional-relative sets for cases of “double prepositions” (that is, where the Greek might read “on which [day],” but really represents a semantic structure of “on [the day] on which” [to note in tag annotation field]); adding continuative relatives as part of our analysis.

b.  Make a database (spreadsheet) that shows lemma forms alternate to those of ANLEX, to include those of BDAG, Thayer, Newman, Louw and Nida, Strong, Goodrick/Kohlenberger, etc. This can by easy extension become a new field for AGNT. The point is that not every lexicon cuts the pie in the same way. Sometimes single lemma entries in ANLEX are treated as two or more entries by other lexicons. Further, just the opposite occurs, where multiple entries in ANLEX are joined as single entries in other lexicons.

c.  Major task: Over the forty plus years of this project, we have accumulated a correspondence archive of thousands of letters, both hardcopy and nowadays more usually emails, with Greek and other scholars on various aspects of the Greek text. The task here is to go through all that correspondence and extract relevant information from them and to add it to various annotation fields under Greek reflexes, lemmas, ERGs, etc, as necessary. Most of this information is translator friendly and should be harvested to give increased understanding to the translator on the field. Furthermore, much of it—at least in the form given—is unique and not replicated in any commentary.

d. Maintain change history. This involves for all modules of our AGNT project that have passed beyond beta testing a marking of what the tag, lemma, Greek word was, distinct from what it has been changed to be, and also a date of change. There are field markers already identified for these change notations. They have been extensively applied to tag changes, where relevant. The date notation helps us locate the correspondence of any change for later validation or discussion. This of course is assumed under point 2. above but deserves being stressed here. Knowing former analyses and dates has been crucial for the orderly development of AGNT and surely will into the future.

e. Midi task: as the current project to review all sixty-seven conjunctions is completed (begun by John Werner, actively being continued by Dan Hoopert), update the end-of-AGNT-Appendix lists in light of these revisions (not only specific tag/ERG assignments are being reviewed and revised as necessary, but also ANLEX definition write-ups). This is the only place in the Appendix that is not currently tied into tag annotations. It may be possible, depending on available personnel, to update these lists first (and then later only correct as necessary) and complete the \tannot field application to individual cases thereof.

f. Upgrade the AN part (analytical forms listing) of the ANLEX database by checking all available electronic apparatuses and texts for Greek forms that are currently not in our database. Much of that can be done by computer searches. What will take a bit more time is to identify the parsing identity of each new form and its homebase.

g. The following task is typical of a number studies that might be made in the Greek text whose fallout might directly impact the ANLEX write-ups revision we are working on. In particular, check/study compound-verb arguments (clearly the oblique cases) to ascertain any regularities (and subregularities) with respect to prepositional phrases (PP), that is, how do such relate: prep-verb + no PP versus prep-verbs + PP versus no prep-verb [though congruent verb] + PP. Example, εἰσέρχομαι N vs. εἰσέρχομαι εἰς N vs. ἔρχομαι εἰς Ν.

h.  Consider market receptivity to a print edition of BYZAGNT and/or AGNT-5 with multi-levels to include tags, lemmas, ERGs, Greek phrases, PLERGs and PERGs.

i.  Add an interpropositional relations component to AGNT from SIL’s SSAs.

j.  Make a syntactic parsing of BYZ/AGNT by use of Ulrik Sandborg-Petersen’s syntactic parser program and check it against Randy Leedy’s diagramming in BibleWorks.

k.  Make an electronic format Classic AGNT from the original printed AGNT, but adding corrections (but not to simplify the tagging system). This project is in process and largely ready.