Valence Patterns and Translation Proposals within SHEBANQ

A verb organizes the elements in a sentence. Different patterns of constituents affect the meaning of a verb in a given context. The potential of a verb to combine with patterns of elements is known as its valence. A single set of questions, organized as a flow chart, selects the relevant building blocks within the context of a verb. The resulting pattern provides a particular significance for the verb in question. Because all contexts are submitted to the same flow chart, similarities and differences between verbs come to light. For example, verbs of movement in their causative formation manifest the same patterns as transitive verbs with an object that gets moved. We apply this approach to the whole Hebrew Bible, using the database of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer (ETCBC), which contains the relevant linguistic annotations. This allows us to have a complete listing of all patterns for all verbs. It provides the basis for consistent proposals for the significance of specific patterns occurring with a particular verb. The valence results are made available in SHEBANQ, an online research tool based on the ETCBC database. It presents the basic data, text and linguistic features, together with annotations by researchers. The valence results consist of a set of algorithmically generated annotations which show up between the lines of the text. The algorithm itself and its documentation can be found at By using SHEBANQ we achieve several goals with respect to the scholarly workflow: (1) all our results are openly accessible online, and other researchers may comment on them; (2) all resources needed to reproduce this research are available online and can be downloaded (Open Access).