[Tshwanelex-l] Building a name dictionary

Philip Trauring philip at trauring.com
Wed Apr 24 14:15:15 EDT 2013

I'm looking into using TLex for a project, but as I'm an individual and it is a bit pricy for something that is not funded, I was hoping people on this list could give me some guidance before I make the plunge and buy TLex. Does anyone know how long the trial works for, and what features are missing?

Is anyone using TLex for building a name dictionary? Have you used tlCorpus to build a name corpus? Is that even possible?

Some more specific questions:

1) Instead of a part-of-speech, can I instead have a language-of-origin? For example, instead of displaying the POS in parenthesis next to the word, can it instead show the language of origin, with an optional display of the name in the original language? i.e. Philip (Greek, Philippos)

2) When outputting to InDesign, can styles be exported? and links between words? It would be great if styles in TLex were converted into InDesign styles, and links were created using InDesign's built-in named-links. For example, if I have associated names listed, can those names link to their own entries in the dictionary? This would be useful in creating an interactive version of the book (i.e. Kindle or iBook). It would also allow for the automatic generation of indexes with page numbers. Is there a way to export to multiple column format in InDesign? Is there a guide to exporting to InDesign?

3) Is there a way to link external data to the TLex data? For example, if I have a spreadsheet that lists names and a number associated with each name (a ranking of sorts), and I edit the spreadsheet, can that be reflected in TLex?

4) How easy is it to create a template for a name entry, obviously different that a standard dictionary entry. Would this be creating a new DTD? Is the process for this documented? Are there template DTDs already existing for name dictionaries? How would I set up a section of the entry that is dependent on something being true? For example, if the name is biblically-derived, I might want to include a biblical passage in the entry. I'd want the system to be able to tell me whether or not all entries marked as biblical had associated passages assigned, but in cases where the name is not biblically derived, I don't want space allocated for a passage and I don't want to be told there is no passage.

5) Can I create multiple index sections derived from the same data? For example, to continue with the biblical names example above, if I wanted a separate index of all names that are biblically derived, can I generate that easily? Can I tag names with various other attributes, and use those to generate other indexes? Can indexes be generated that are coded to show page numbers in InDesign (using InDesign's ability to show page number of named links)?

6) Can a corpus contain tables of data from a XSL or CSV, where all the information from the row is shown (but indexed to a specific field or fields)? I know this isn't strictly speaking the purpose of tlCorpus, but I'm hoping there is a way to integrate existing databases I've been developing with the corpus data into a single searchable view. I guess I could export the XSL to PDF or something, but I'm wondering if the fields could be preserved. I have a number of data collections I've created in spreadsheets, and I'd love to be able to refer to all the entries that contain that name I'm looking at from all the data collections. Perhaps what I'm looking for is not in tlCorpus, but something else. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Philip Trauring

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