Thursday, January 26, 2012


Each database has a number of screens, or layouts, which enable the information to be looked at in different ways. There are two principal screens:
  1. OVERVIEW: within the database
  2. LINKS: to words in other databases
Fig.2.1. The ‘Overview’ screen of the ALLSYD database, for ‘na: see’
OVERVIEW SCREEN (links within the database)
The aim of the Overview screen is to present as much information as possible on a single viewing, without need to look elsewhere. 
This looks confusing at first sight, but is in fact not much different from learning your way around a house. Each section is like a room, with certain characteristics, as will be shown next.
The main part of the screen is the lower-third section. These are the records, and there are over 9000 in this database, only about a dozen being on view at any time. This is the full screen on which the “Naabaoú” entry occurs. This word is the first long word in the grey column to the lower left, with “Naabámi” immediately following it.
There are four ‘search panels’, and they are the basically vacant area in the centre of the screen. They are vacant as nothing is being searched for in this view.
Above them are the ‘occurrences’ panels, brown to the left, and yellow to the right. In this view, on the left, all the occurrences of ‘na’ (brown) in the database are shown; and on the right all occurrences in this database of ‘see’ (yellow) are presented.
This is summarised as follows:
Fig. 2.2. Analysis of the ‘Overview’ screen in the databases
At top are the ‘Elaboration bars’. They are all vacant for the ‘na: see’ screen, there not being much to say about either ‘na’ or ‘see’. But sometimes they have extensive information, of which only the top line can be seen, until clicked, when all becomes revealed, as will be described later. [SEE Section 5: Elaboration bars]
Near the centre of the screen are three smaller areas:
[a] language info (area of the country, language name, and abbreviation)
[b] extras (scientific name, informant, part of speech, function)
[c] mainly comments (on meaning, on transcription, and some clues and analysis)
These will be covered more fully later. For:
[a] SEE Section 8.1 Supplementaries
[b] SEE Section 8.2 Supplementaries
[c] SEE Section 9 Information group
LINKS SCREEN (links to other databases)
The aim of the Links screen is to show how a word shows up in other languages:
Fig. 2.3. The Links screen for ‘badu: water’: an inter-database enquiry
The analysis of the above screen:
Fig.2.4. Analysis of the ‘Links’ screen in the databases

On the left-hand (brown) side are revealed all the times the word ‘badu’ occurs in the various databases shown. While many mean ‘water’, some do not.
On the right hand side, the yellow section, appear all the different words for ‘water’ in the languages and databases featured. Not only are a large number of words revealed for ‘water’ but also the many small variations, such as ‘ngayuwa’ and ‘nidyang’, and ‘giyab’ and ‘gabi’.

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