A Practical Guide

Chapter 6

for Doing
Field Linguistics

Evan Antworth
Summer Institute of Linguistics

J. Randolph Valentine
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Online Appendix:
Data Management

Data Management

Speech Analysis and Phonetics

Phonology and Morphology

Syntax and Grammar Description


Text Analysis

Language Survey and Comparison

Data Management

This section describes four pieces of software that fall into the category of general data management tools: askSam, HyperCard, LinguaLinks, and Shoebox. These would mainly be used for managing lexicon, texts, and grammar. Of these three pieces of software, the first two are commercial, general purpose software and the last two are domain-specific.


Commercial free-form textbase program for DOS and Windows intended for data management, word processing, and text retrieval. Supports unstructured text, structured fields, text and data retrieval, sorting, formatting, report generation, and multiple file access.

  • Systems supported: DOS, Windows
  • Current version: 5.1 for DOS, 3.0 for Windows
  • Developer/Distributor: askSam Systems, P.O. Box 1428, Perry, FL 32348, tel. (800) 800-1997, e-mail:
  • Price: version 3.0 (Windows): $149.95, version 3.0/Pro (Windows): $395, version 2.1 (DOS): $395
  • Reviews:
    1. Brown, Malcolm. 1987. "Review of AskSAM version 2.3", Computers and the Humanities 21.3:200-203.
    2. Hughes, John J. 1987. "AskSAM 4.0--fast, flexible text retrieval program", Bits and Bytes Review 1.9:12-15.
    3. Byte, June 1992, "Searching for common threads", 290-305.
    4. Database Magazine, November 1996, 70-73.
  • URL:


A programmable database system that can handle text, numerical data, sound, and graphics.

  • Systems supported: Macintosh
  • Current version: 2.4.1
  • Developer and distributor: Apple Computer, Inc.
  • Price: $100
  • URL:


Data management tools (LinguaLinks Workshop) and library of reference materials (LinguaLinks Library).

  • Systems supported: Windows 3.x and Windows 95
  • Current version: 3.0
  • Developer: Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Distributor: LinguaLinks, Summer Institute of Linguistics, 7500 West Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas, Texas 75236 USA
  • Price: LinguaLinks Library: $75 to $99, LinguaLinks Workshop: $195 to $495.
  • URL:


Linguistically-oriented freeform database program with facility for producing glossed interlinear text. Up to seven database files can be open at once with instant access to all.

  • Systems supported: DOS, Windows and Macintosh
  • Current version: DOS: 1.2, Windows/Macintosh: 4.0
  • Developer: Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Distributor: ICTS, Attn: Customer Services, Box 248, Waxhaw, NC, 28173, USA, US & Canada orders only: (800) 421-8024, overseas orders: (704) 843-6085, fax (704) 843-6500, e-mail
  • Price: Free if downloaded from URLs below
  • Review: Koontz, John E. 1990. "Shoebox: a review", Newsletter of The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas 9(2):10-12. [Compares Shoebox v. 1, askSam, and Lexware.]
  • URLs:

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This page is part of an online appendix for the book Using Computers in Linguistics: A Practical Guide, edited by John M. Lawler and Helen Aristar Dry (Routledge, 1998).

Last modified: January 11, 1999