With time passing and Hebrew less and less remaining a spoken language, it became a necessity to preserve the original sense of the individual texts. More than a millenium ago, schools were established in Palestine to find ways of indicating the original sense of the texts by designing a special set of signs to accompany the original consonantal version. Two such sets were set up: one for the denotation of vowels (the nikuds, for grammatical information) and one for the denotation of cantillation (the trops, for melodies of public reading). Since the function of the latter was to preserve the primary semantic and communicative properties of the text, and since these properties have well-established formal (syntactic) relevance, the indication of the melodic structure by the cantillation signs also yields significant syntactic and semantic information about the text itself.
However informative these signs can be, research has practically been oriented to just the primary aspect of the text, i.e., to its consonantal form, the form scriptures were traditionally written in: concordances, the basic tools of textual research have only considered these consonantal forms. It is with the Tanach Cantillation Concordance that research can now enter a fundamentally new phase. The Tanach Cantillation Concordance offers a very special organization of text based on standard concordance format. Texts are not only organized by consonants (as usual conocordances are), but by vowels (nikuds) and cantillation signs (tropes) as well. It results in concordances in which it is not only consonantal forms of words and expression that can be found and grouped together with their appropriate textual environment, but vowel patterns aand cantillation patterns as well. The result is something similar to a hypothetical dictionary of, say, the music of Beethoven, where, in addition to a list of all the musical sounds (and their environments) used by the composer, all the rhythmic patterns of his music, regardless of the tunes they are realized in, are listed.
Similarly, this Tanach Cantillation Concordance offers the researcher the chance to view not only the words and their environment of the biblical text, but also all the possible combinations of the cantillation marks, i.e., all the possible structural cantillation units of public reading. And all this in a combination of alphabetization and vocalization as well as in the natural Hebrew textual environment, essential features, which the only cantillation condordance known to the author to have been published so far does not offer.
At last, since these signs have a direct relation to the syntactic structure of the text as well, this concordance gives the unique chance to researchers to unfold the syntactic properties of all the texts of the Tanach. In this way, one can derive a linguistic representation of the texts similar to what is nowadays called 'parsing'; with a very important difference, however: parsing is made today by the help of computers, whereas those parsings were made by hand during many decades more than a thousand years ago. What is still common in them is that one needs computers to bring to light these hidden features of the ancient texts.
What it does
What it does not do
However, all the actual sequences of the cantillation signs are retreavable from the core list.
B. Some advantages of the Torah Cantillation Concordance