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As far as we know, according to the Oxford English Dictionary it was a typo of sorts. It occurred in when the following line was written in a poem : "Not in Goddis gospel, but in Sathanas pistile, wher of sorowe and of snowcrie noon is to seken. But whatever its true nature, "snowcrie" is known as a hapax legomenon , a word that only occurs once in a given corpus. In this case, the corpus consists of everything in English from that time period. But the body of text doesn't have to be so large. So, within the Shakespearean corpus—all of the writings of Shakespeare—there are numerous hapax words such as honorificabilitudinitatibus.

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When a corpus is all or nearly all we have for an entire language, such as the Bible in the case of ancient Hebrew, hapax words can be quite vexing, to such a degree that we often have little idea of their meaning. But more than just curiosities, hapax legomena aren't strange statistical flukes.

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  • History of Elizabeth, New Jersey : including the early history of Union County.
  • Hapax Legomena and Zipf's Law;

Not only are they more common than we might realize, but they are predicted from certain mathematical rules of language. Hapax legomena must exist as long as Zipf's Law holds true. Developed by George Kingsley Zipf, Zipf's Law is a simple mathematical rule that states that a word's frequency is inversely proportional to its rank in frequency.

This sounds strange, but it's actually quite elegant; it means that the word with the highest frequency rank 1 appears twice as often as the next most common word rank 2. Going further, the most common word appears three times as often as the word that is ranked in position 3.


Zipf's Law describes what is known as a power law or, more commonly, a long tail. These types of distributions, unlike the bell curves we are used to for such quantities as human height, have values that reach far out into the upper reaches of the scale, allowing for both exceedingly common words such as "the" as well as much rarer words like "flother.

Based on the shape of the curve described by Zipf's Law, surprisingly often about half of the words in a corpus end up having only a single occurrence, making them hapax legomena.

  1. The weird world of the hapax legomenon?
  2. Lenigma dellultimo apostolo (Italian Edition).
  3. List of New Testament Hapax Legomena.
  4. Jerusalem (NHB Modern Plays).
  5. The Woven Thread.
  6. Hapax legomena, while only rarely encountered individually, are very common in the aggregate. That would actually not find the hapax legomenon in 1 Timothy. Technically, a hapax legomenon are words that occur in a single corpus. So a word can occur more than one time in 1 Timothy but cannot occur outside it. You would be correct except that when the pop-up range is set to All text, the count refers to that range, so the above search is finding true hapaxes in 1 Tim. If you set the range in the pop-up the count is how many times it occurs in that range.

    The weird world of the hapax legomenon | Coffee House

    Posted 26 May - PM. How can I find words that for example occur twice in the Epistle of James and nowhere else in the New Testament? Posted 28 May - PM. Posted 26 April - PM. The search above found e. Community Forum Software by IP. Board 3. Javascript Disabled Detected You currently have javascript disabled. Finding Hapax legomena? Started by miqraot , Mar 06 PM.

    hapax legomenon

    Please log in to reply. Box Mt. Yes, you can use the "Count" command, which you can either type in or find under the Search menu. For example, [Count 1] will return all hapax legomena while [Count ] will find words occurring two or three times. Helen Brown OakTree Software. Accordance Version: Posted 08 May - AM If I would like to find the hapaxes that only occur in Pastoral epistles, is it the correct way to do so? Thank you. Do you know how to do a search that would account for words only found in a certain book?

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