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The Linguist's Shoebox

Integrated data management and analysis for the field linguist


Lexical databases can contain multiple data fields for definitions and glosses.

Lexical databases that are used for interlinearizing texts and for building a dictionary can contain multiple data fields for definitions and glosses. In Shoebox, a researcher can use a single lexical database for multiple purposes—information that is not relevant to a particular audience or purpose is ignored. The Multi-Dictionary Formatter (MDF) provides definition, gloss, and "reversal" fields for English, national, and regional language audiences. When you enter data, you need to understand the rules for conditional selection of "gloss-type" information:

Data fields Dictionary Gloss index Interlinear text
Definition \de, \dn, \dr Printed Not printed Not used
Gloss \ge, \gn, \gr Conditionally printed
(if no definition)
Conditionally printed
(if no "reversal")
Ordinarily used
(if included in the interlinear setup)
"Reversal" \re, \rn, \rr Not printed Printed Not used

Here are some situations and the fields that you should enter in a lexical database record:

For more information, read section 2.3 in Making Dictionaries.

Index of tips: definitions; fields, definition and gloss; glosses; lexical data
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