The Linguist's Shoebox
Integrated data management and analysis for the field linguist
Enter different kinds of information in separate data fields.
At the time when you enter data, it might seem convenient to combine different kinds of information in the same field. However, you could lose the ability to access it in useful ways when you analyze the data. If you limit data fields to a single purpose, you can use the following Shoebox features more effectively:
- Sorting and browsing
- Selecting language encodings and choosing fonts for markers
- Consistency checking using range sets and data links
Although database records will tend to be longer when they are displayed on the screen in Shoebox, the data fields can be combined in printouts if you export in Rich Text Format (RTF) using a Consistent Changes table. Here is an example of this principle from the Multi-Dictionary Formatter (MDF).
The original format for a lexical function combined the label and value in the same field:
\lf Group = fenlale
The new recommended format uses separate data fields for the label and value:
Note: This principle also applies to entering multiple items of the same kind of information in multiple data fields, instead of combining them in a single field.