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Wordcorr entries

Module by: Joseph Grimes. E-mail the author

Summary: All data in a Wordcorr collection are organized into entries. One entry contains those words in each of the speech varieties that correspond to a single meaning (like words for "house" or "beach") or closely connected meanings (like "mouse, rat"). Each entry has a gloss in the primary glossing language, and possibly a secondary gloss in another language.

Comparative linguists group the data they work on into rough meaning categories. Each category is represented by a single word or phrase in the primary glossing language.

That doesn't mean that the words listed under a single gloss mean exactly the same thing in one speech variety that they mean in another. The fact of the matter is that words and phrases change over time in both form and meaning, and we want to know about both kinds of change. But when we're making our initial roundup of words, we have no way of knowing where they really belong. And because we can move them around later, we don't lose sleep over exact matchups of meaning.

Example:

Early on in the development of the Austronesian language family, the word lima probably meant "hand" or "palm of the hand." But as languages diverged, the meaning shifted around in some languages to "five," "sole of the foot," "level surface" -- all perfectly plausible meaning shifts. If one were starting the study of Austronesian from scratch (not a good idea), the descendants of lima would pop up in several different entries because of the changes in meaning. Eventually, however, you would probably notice the similarities in form and the relatedness of the meanings, and pull them together into a single entry.

You start a new entry by clicking on the "Data" tab near the top of the Wordcorr screen. It brings up the Data panel. At the top of that panel you click the "Add" button. A blank entry comes up with a number one greater than the last entry you put in.

You fill in a primary gloss -- a word or phrase that suggests the meaning of the data you will be entering -- in the primary glossing language of the collection. If you have specified a secondary glossing language, you put in an equivalent word in that language too.

In the Data panel shown in the preceding module, Entry number 3 had a primary gloss (English for the South Sulawesi collection) of "root" and a secondary gloss (Bahasa Indonesia for the South Sulawesi collection) of "akar." That sets up the entry to take data.

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A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

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Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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