The Linguist's Shoebox

Integrated data management and analysis for the field linguist


Categories in observation databases should be linked to topics in analysis databases.

Text and anthropology notes databases contain observations about language and culture. In Shoebox, the corresponding grammar and anthropology analyses can also be organized as databases. Records in an analysis database correspond to topics in a system, such as A Field Manual for Descriptive Linguistics and the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM)*. As you enter observations, decide what categories are most pertinent and add the corresponding data fields, for example, \anth 765 Mourning (from the OCM) and \gram gr_n_typ_prop (from the Field Manual's outline: Grammatical Categories, Nouns, Types of Nouns, Proper Nouns). As you analyze data that you have collected, enter your conclusions and hypotheses in the appropriate topic records in analysis databases (along with questions for further for further study and data gathering). To get the best results, set up data links from category fields (e.g., \anth and \gram) to topic records. This will ensure consistency when you enter data and let you jump from an observation to relevant analyses—and easily check whether they need to be revised. For more information, read the Application Guide for Anthropology.

*Shoebox does not include the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM). The LinguaLinks® Library does include the OCM as an electronic book and as a Shoebox database. We encourage owners of the LinguaLinksĀ® Library to use this OCM database in their Shoebox Anthropology project. However, this OCM database may only be distributed to those who have a LinguaLinksĀ® Library license.

Index of tips: categories, linking to topics; data analysis; data links
List of tips