This document lists the known outstanding major problems in the BibleTrans technology, and how I might try to fix them. Not included here are the numerous easily fixed small bugs.
Rule Table Space
Discourse Structure Nesting
The problem seems most pronounced where the Greek language apparently did not have an adequate vocabulary to fully express the author's intention, so (for example) the Apostle Paul needed to compose a single verbal idea from two or more Greek verbs conjoined. Because the BibleTrans ontology closely follows the Greek lexicon, Elizabeth Miles was forced into a comparable composite structure when she encoded Philippians, which is foreign both to Paul's expressed ideas and to the natural BibleTrans tree structure. Current thinking is to allow the ontology to expand in such cases, so that "expect and hope" in Php.1:20 becomes a single concept and a single proposition, with the attendant simplification of the tree structure. We must be careful not to let this liberty to degenerate in runaway license, for that will greatly burden the linguists writing translation grammars for the target languages.
There are numerous cases in both Philippians and Luke as encoded by
Ms.Miles, where she has subordinating relations under coordinating relations.
This makes no sense linguistically, unless her intent was to express that
the subordinated proposition(s) were in fact subordinate to the composite
idea expressed by the coordination. Somebody needs to evaluate each of
these instances (they are all hollow nodes in the current implimentation,
except for Php.1:21 and 1:29, which I moved under the second of the two
propositions in each case), and if necessary, invent new extended concepts
to capture the composite verb sense, then clean up the tree structure to
reflect this new encoding.
Current thinking is to trim the logical list by encoding the noun numbers by chapter times 1000, so that nouns appearing only in chapter 2 would have numbers in the range 2000-2999, and so on. Nouns that persist across chapters would be given numbers less than 1000. BibleTrans can facilitate this partition by designating a "current chapter" for assigning noun numbers, and for hiding those outside the designated chapter.
The user should be able to ask for a noun to be given a specific noun
number (if not already taken), so to move any noun into the common region
(or to any other chapter), and the nouns should be sorted in the ThingList,
but these are easy fixes.
First draft: 2014 June 9