Share your data with others !

Recently, I have come across Lexique Pro, an interactive lexicon viewer and editor developed by SIL in Mali. It can read and display a lexicon database if it is a text file with “standard format markers”, i.e.  the kind of data produced by SIL’s Toolbox, e.g.

\lx doki
\ps n
\ge horse

The goal is sharing your data with the rest of the world:

You’ve spent years working on your dictionary, but how easy is it for others to make the most of it? Are the speakers of the language getting any benefit from it? Is it user-friendly enough for a non-linguist to look at? Are translators making the best use of it? Are partner organisations using it? Do university professors have it on their computers? Is it in local schools, government offices and cyber-cafés? Can people download it from your website? Or is it just lying on your hard disk or hidden away gathering dust in the corner of a library somewhere?

Once your dictionary is ready to share, you can upload it on your website to be viewed online or downloaded.

Lexique Pro is fairly easy to use and has some nice features, e.g. if your database includes references to image, sound or video files, these can be shown too.

I nearly forgot to tell you: Lexique Pro is freeware!

Find out more about


SIL releases FieldWorks 5.0

SIL has announced the release of version 5.0 of their language and culture research software FieldWorks:

SIL FieldWorks is a software suite that helps researchers to manage language and cultural data from the initial collection stage to the publication of dictionaries, text collections and grammars. Acclaimed by field researchers, FieldWorks is currently being used in small- to medium-sized dictionary projects at several universities. The new release, version 5.0, improves existing features and pioneers new features not found in other software.

New with version 5.0

  • ability to produce stem-based and root-based dictionaries from a single database
  • ability to interlinearize phrases
  • ability to filter a text corpus
  • partial French interface
  • Windows Vista compatibility

Improved features

  • expanded concordance capabilities
  • more export formats
  • ability to tailor the display of data in many available views

Contents of FieldWorks 5.0 suite

  • Language Explorer 2.0, a major application for analyzing language data and managing a lexicon and text corpus
  • Data Notebook 2.8, a data management application for cultural field work
  • WorldPad 2.8, a simple text editor using the Graphite rendering engine for complex scripts

Like many other SIL software products, FieldWorks is available under the SIL Open Source License. Because this license is granted to the user at no cost, the user is not entitled to free technical support from SIL. Service Bulletins are posted for known problem fixes and patches.

You can download SIL FieldWorks here. If you do not have the bandwidth to make downloading practical, you may order a CD-ROM that contains the FieldWorks files for the price of the media, shipping, and handling. Contact:

SIL releases Speech Analyzer 3.0

SIL International has just announced the release of version 3.0 of Speech Analyzer (SA), a tool for recording, transcribing and analyzing speech sounds:

Linguists will find SA useful to perform duration measurements and fundamental frequency, spectrographic and spectral analyses. SA can also combine phonetic, phonemic, orthographic, tone and gloss transcriptions in an interlinear format. Features to enhance language learning include slowed playback, repeat loops and overlays to assist with perception and mimicry of sounds. With SA, ethnomusicologists can perform analysis of music recordings. Version 3.0 is the first significant release of SA since version 2.7 (June 2005).

New features include:

  • Unicode support and support for Transcription Encoding Converters for data from previous versions
  • Import data in MP3 and WMA formats
  • Import and export MusicXML

Other Features:

  • Transcribe speech files phonetically with IPA
  • Add phonemic, orthographic, tone and gloss annotations to transcriptions in an interlinear format
  • View sound file as a waveform, pitch plot, spectrogram, spectrum and various F1 vs. F2 displays
  • Formant processing
  • Playback at a slower speed
  • Playback with variable length delay between repetitions
  • Music analysis capability
  • Integrated Help files and training materials

(SIL Media release, 16 August 2007)

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