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The Linguist's Shoebox

Integrated data management and analysis for the field linguist


Lexicographers should identify morphological subclasses within a part of speech category.

In many languages, a part of speech category by itself is not sufficient to describe how a lexeme behaves in its morphosyntactic network. For example, Spanish dictionaries classify verbs as -ar, -ir, and -er. In addition to the \ps Part of speech data field, the Multi-Dictionary Formatter (MDF) provides the \pd Paradigm field for morphological subclasses. In Shoebox, you should define range sets for the \ps and \pd data fields.
Note: Indicating subclasses numerically (e.g., I, II, III) tends to frustrate everybody except the researcher who assigned those labels. Using the actual affixes that distinguish the subclasses in defined contexts broadens the audience of potential dictionary users. Here are the morphological subclasses for non-active and transitive verbs in Buru:

\ps category \pd subclasses
vn em-, eb-, -t
vt -k, -h

See section in Making Dictionaries.

Index of tips: categories, parts of speech; lexicography; morphological subclasses; parts of speech; subclasses, morphological
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