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Re: [textualcriticism] Re: NT Stemmatics

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... Lack of data in cladistics usually leads to lack of resolution. The maximal lack of resolution is the bush pattern in which all extant witnesses are
    Message 1 of 7 , May 25, 2004
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      At 03:19 PM 5/25/2004 +0200, Wieland Willker wrote:
      >Thought of the day:
      >What if the amount of information is not sufficient enough to create the
      >correct stemma? Of course we can only use what we have, but if we have
      >not enough? If the input data are too fragmentary and incomplete then
      >the resultant stemma probably has not much in common with
      >reality/history.

      Lack of data in cladistics usually leads to lack of resolution. The
      maximal lack of resolution is the bush pattern in which all extant
      witnesses are believed to be descendent of some common ancestor but
      there is not enough evidence to conclude that any two are more closely
      related to each other. For example, an unrealized bush with four
      witnesses, A, B, C, and D, looks like:

      x
      / | | \
      A B C D

      If a polychotomy in the stemma (i.e., a MS in the stemma with multiple
      descendents) is interpreted as "soft", then the stemma is considered
      correct as long as A, B, C, and D are actual descendents of x no matter
      how they are further related to each other. Thus, lack of data that
      can specify in more detail the relationships among A, B, C, and D
      would lead to a soft polychotomy.

      However, if it can be determined that A and B agree in error more than
      any other pair, the relationships in the stemma become more resolved
      or distinct, such as:


      x
      / | \
      y C D
      / \
      A B

      There are well-accepted statistical techniques, namely the "bootstrap,"
      that are commonly used for judging how much resolution in the stemma
      is actually supported by the data.

      >It could be checked using artificial data to show how much you need to
      >get near the truth (how many "missing links" are allowed). The problem
      >with NT TC is that we don't even know how much is lost.

      People have done this. Check out the last several years worth of issues
      in the journals of _Systematic Biology_, _Cladistics_, etc. There are
      dozens and dozens of article on such statistical techniques.

      Joe Felsenstein recently came out with a very nice textbook called INFERRING
      PHYLOGENIES, which explains a lot of the theory and practice behind cladistics
      (without getting too doctrinaire about it). If your university supports a
      decent biology/systematics/bioinformatics program, your library may already
      have it.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... No, the question was about the stemma (the pattern of relationships among the MSS), not the text of the archetype. Stephen Carlson -- Stephen C. Carlson
      Message 2 of 7 , May 25, 2004
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        At 10:24 PM 5/25/2004 +0800, Jonathan Borland wrote:
        >I think I understand the question. How do we know that what exists is
        >an accurate representation of the original? I guess one explanation
        >goes like this.

        No, the question was about the stemma (the pattern of relationships
        among the MSS), not the text of the archetype.

        Stephen Carlson
        --
        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
        Weblog: http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/hypotyposeis/blogger.html
        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
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