Resources for making a dictionary - a South American indigenous language
Thread poster: zabrowa
zabrowa
Local time: 20:32
Nov 9, 2007

Hi. I am a researcher working with an endangered indigenous language spoken in South America. It is a very agglutinative language and so has a gamut of morphemes. In studying this language, and in preparing to go to the field, I was thinking of creating a dictionary, not only to facilitate dialect comparision and in situ communication, but also for general use by other researchers, linguists, and the speakers themselves.

I wonder if any of you know of any good freeware to get me going or any useful online manuals. I looked at, for example, Matupana, but I couldn't figure out how to run it, much less use it. It was appealing though because the printed version looked pretty professional, too.

Sure would appreciate some advice for a very novice lexicographer.

Thanks a lot!

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-11-09 15:55]


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:32
German to English
+ ...
Matapuna Nov 10, 2007

I had Matapuna up and running on Linux a couple of years ago. As I remember the major difficulty I had was connecting to the PostgreSQL database, which is often a bit tricky anyway, and one or two things relating to running it on Apache. The person who wrote Matapuna was, however, very helpful, (he even explained how to import csv files) although I lost our exchange of emails when my system collapsed and I didn't have them backed up – perhaps if Dave Moskovitz still has them he could make them available. I know some of my other findings (OS things mainly, IIRC) were included in the install instructions.

I also remember that it was very slow – as is OpenLogos (which also uses PostgreSQL). The computer I was using it on only had 256MB of RAM so that may have been one problem, but it may be useful to find out how to get PostgreSQL to use the maximum memory available - OpenLogos is still very, very slow with my current 2GB RAM.

Otherwise Matapuna was quite stable and, if a little involved, not entirely difficult to use.


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zabrowa
Local time: 20:32
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the tips Nov 10, 2007

Much appreciated. In the end, I wonder if there's something more streamlined for my needs. Both these systems seem to have some significant drawbacks. Maybe best to stick to Excel for now... I suppose all this programs permit Excel importation...

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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:32
Member (2005)
English to Czech
shoebox or lingualinks Nov 10, 2007

see http://linguistlist.org/issues/11/11-1483.html for more info

good luck,
pavel


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zabrowa
Local time: 20:32
TOPIC STARTER
Pavel Nov 10, 2007

Hi, thanks for the tips - the problem with Shoebox is that the output is so simple - true, it is practical, but I would like something a bit more esthetic so that I could include it as an appendix to my work output. As for lingualinks, it doesn't appear to be free anymore. Everything I found on this product was not free, and I feel ethically opposed to giving anything to SIL for various reasons. Any other ideas?

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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 20:32
Member (2005)
English to Czech
or fieldworks se Nov 10, 2007

http://www.sil.org/computing/catalog/show_software_catalog.asp?by=sil&name=Supported

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xxxhazmatgerman
Local time: 20:32
English to German
dics layout Nov 16, 2007

Dear Mr. Coler,
from the publishing point of view it may be premature to worry about the layout when still doing the research, other than bearing in mind a potential for electronic access. All publishing system are able to import Excel files, and layout can easily be adapted when formatting the research paper. Bear in mind the limit of lines that Excel can handle!
Best wishes
M.A.T.


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zabrowa
Local time: 20:32
TOPIC STARTER
agreement Nov 16, 2007

I absolutely agree, however, eventually I will want to put this into a more user-friendly format so better to get a head-start. Moreover, having a good program will help me more consistently evaluate and organize my data. In other words, from a certain perspective, Excel is too powerful. But it seems like there are not really any nice programs for this...

>Dear Mr. Coler,
from the publishing point of view it may be premature to
worry about the layout when still doing the research, other
than bearing in mind a potential for electronic access. All
publishing system are able to import Excel files, and
layout can easily be adapted when formatting the research
paper. Bear in mind the limit of lines that Excel can
handle!
Best wishes
M.A.T.


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