example sentences in a dictionary

Peter Austin pa2 at SOAS.AC.UK
Wed Oct 20 06:18:48 UTC 2010

This is an interesting issue and one I am sure others have had to face too.

My suggestion would be to produce a couple of sample pages in various
formats (eg. with and without the morpheme break symbols) and test
them out on a range of users to see what response you get.

The only extra information you are providing is a parse of the words,
but if there are potential ambiguities, eg. lots of morpheme
homophony, then the parse may not be any more helpful to readers. Why
not make the parsed and glossed examples available, eg. on a website
or another publication, and include an index reference in the
published examples in the dictionary so really keen readers can go
look up the parse and all the other metadata you have created like
gloss, notes, context, speaker, location/date etc.? (Recall that all
of this stuff is metadata, as David Nathan and I pointed out in an
article in LDD in 2004, so there is as much of it as you have the time
and energy to create.)


On 19 October 2010 22:09, Laura C Robinson <lcrobinson at alaska.edu> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am wondering about formatting example sentences in a dictionary.
> This dictionary is aimed at linguistic audiences (it will be bundled
> with the grammar, and it is written in English, which no Agta people
> speak yet).  In the grammar section, I used - for a morpheme boundary
> and = for a clitic boundary.  So, should the example sentences in the
> dictionary be broken down in the same way?  Or not at all?  Or some
> other way (although I would like to do something that isn't too
> inconsistent with the grammar section)?
> abad
> iabad v. tie something around waist
> Obus pag-man, ni-abad=na i arikawat=na
> OR
> Obus pagman, niabadna i arikawatna.
> 'After chewing betel, he tied his betel nut pack around his waist.'
> This sentence has a very typical amount of morphology.
> Thanks,
> Laura
> --
> Laura C. Robinson
> Postdoctoral Researcher
> Department of Linguistics
> University of Alaska, Fairbanks
> http://go.alaska.edu/lcrobinson

Prof Peter K. Austin
Marit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics
Department of Linguistics, SOAS
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

web: http://www.hrelp.org/aboutus/staff/index.php?cd=pa

More information about the Resource-network-linguistic-diversity mailing list