|There are four main kinds of things you do in Wordcorr.
Usually you jump back and forth among them; sometimes you do them
in order. Click to read more about each one. The Wordcorr Help
facility goes into much greater detail; this Web site just gives
you an overview.
Enter and edit data. You
can enter data manually. There is a convenient way to enter full
IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) notation. You enter multiple
word lists for comparative analysis into a data collection.
You can also import data from another computer, via
- Wordcorr export file
- WordSurv or PalmSurv.
the data to show your linguistic judgments for a particular view. You look at all the forms for
one entry in your current view. If they all look as if they could
have developed from a single original form even though they're not
all identical (in other words, for now you consider them all as
possible cognates), you give them all the same one-letter tag, like
"a". If it looks like two earlier forms must be involved
(i.e. two possible cognate sets), you tag some of them with an
"a" and others with a different letter like "b"
and so on. Use any letters you like; you'll get the same effect
with "c" and "r". Different tags just mean
different cognate sets.
Then you look at each tag group in
that entry, all the a's together, then all the b's, or whatever
you've used for tags. If the corresponding sounds don't match up,
you stretch the shorter words by putting in a special symbol
"/" called "Indel"; we'll explain it later. You
can also make some symbol sequences act as if they were units;
they're called "grapheme clusters" in Wordcorr.
the annotated data to turn an annotated tag group into
correspondence sets, one for each position in the group. When
everything is lined up so it shows the regularities you've noticed,
Wordcorr produces the correspondence sets that your annotations
imply. You decide tentatively (Wordcorr won't be miffed if you
change your mind on things as you go) what protosegment of the
parent language each correspondence set might be evidence for. You
also add a brief code to show where the set was found in relation
to the sounds around it.
the results. It's normal if many of your initial guesses are
not quite on target, because it will be a while before you figure
out what the target is. But as you tabulate more and more entries,
you begin to see patterns emerge that point to regular sound
changes. You move correspondence sets around to make the evidence
more clear, and you revisit the judgments you made on your earlier
annotations. Refining gives you a means of backing out of lines of
thought that made sense when you started, but with more data you
see they won't work.
For more remarks about how to
use Wordcorr effectively, click here.
|These are TASKS, not STEPS.
If you entered all your data as
Step 1, then went back and annotated everything as Step 2, then
tabulated it all as Step 3, then refined everything as Step 4,
you'd bore yourself to death and make some confused choices because
you wouldn't have the broad picture.
A better way to begin is to
- enter the data for just one
- annotate that entry.
- when you have the group tags
assigned and the alignment done, tabulate the groups that have
enough varieties in them to meet the threshold for your view
- click over to the Refine panel
and immediately make any changes that suggest themselves.
Then do the same for the next
At first it may seem silly to work
through all four tasks for every entry. But as you go, you'll see
howlinking everything together keeps you connected with all the
data, and with all the analysis at the same time.
If you do it that way,
- you won't be bored;
- you'll be swimming in all the
- you'll know where everything
- you'll see patterns emerge;
- you'll spot anomalies
Try it; you'll like it.