Inputting Data into WordSurv
- Note: It is important to complete each step of lexicostatistical comparison completely before moving on to the next. This applies to the steps detailed below as well as the greater process.
Before entering your word lists into WordSurv (WS6), be sure your data has been edited according to your chosen methodology and is ready for comparison (e.g. doublets removed). Each step should be done with the bigger picture in mind. When removing doublets, for example, if ‘leg’ and ‘foot’ are doublets, you don’t want to remove ‘leg’ in one variety and ‘foot’ in another.
It is difficult to backtrack and edit the various databases you’ve created if you find you’ve done something incorrectly. Be thorough!
Part 1: Creating a Database and Adding Varieties in WordSurv
1) Have the word lists you intend to compare readily available in Excel, perhaps all in one document. Each list should be carefully labeled to prevent mix-ups. The glosses and the number of each item should be readily apparent for the same reason.
2) Open WordSurv 6.0.2. Click ‘File’ and ‘New Database.’ This database will be a Microsoft Access database, and you will enter all the data you plan to compare in WS6 directly into it later in the process. Save it in a memorable location, as you will need to open it apart from WS6. New databases should be created for each survey.
3) Under ‘Survey’ click the ‘New’ button. A box will pop up (Figure 1); fill in the boxes to your desired level of specificity – they are for your reference. Click ‘Save.’
4) Under ‘Variety’ click ‘New’ to create a new variety (Figure 2). Again, fill in whatever details you wish. This information should be documented elsewhere, as WS6 should not function as your primary record-keeping program. Each variety you create will correspond with one of your word lists, so name them accordingly. Click ‘Save.’
5) Repeat step 4, entering further varieties as desired. In a recent survey in Papua New Guinea, a survey team compared eighteen lists without issue.
6) Now you need to add your gloss dictionary. This is a Microsoft Access database with the item numbers and glosses of your word list; if you use a standard word list for all your surveys, you can use the gloss dictionary for each new comparison. Remember where you save it!
- Note: If you don’t have a gloss dictionary you can use WS6 to create one. Click ‘New’ under ‘Gloss Dictionary,’ name and save it, then add entries. This surveyor hasn’t had to do this, so good luck venturing into unknown territory. Don’t forget your compass.
To add the dictionary, click on ‘File → Import → Gloss Dictionary → From WordSurv 6 Database.’ Locate your gloss dictionary database, and enter a name for it. Click ‘Begin Import’ (Figure 3).
7) You will need to add the gloss dictionary to each of the varieties you’ve created. Click on a variety under ‘Variety Explorer,’ then click ‘Add All Entries.’ Repeat this step for all the varieties. Check that the glosses have appeared in the Variety column (Figure 4).
8) Identifying lists: this step is necessary to insure that you put your word lists into the proper rows in your Microsoft Access database, the next step. In the database it will be one long column; this step makes sure you put each word list in its proper place.
At the bottom of the Variety column is a ‘Sort’ drop-box. Switch this to ‘CreationDate’ (Figure 4). The glosses in the Variety column must be in the same order as the word lists you plan to enter for comparison.
- Note: Putting it in 'CreationDate' order assumes that the gloss dictionary was created in the same order as your standard word lists, and that this is the order you intend to use to import your word lists in and to make comparisons in.
Enter an abbreviation into the first three items in each variety to identify it (Figure 5). Be sure your abbreviations are clear so you don’t confuse them. For example, if you have Karnai and Kasu varieties, ‘KA’ is not a good choice.
It’s important to enter the abbreviation into more than one row – three to be safe. This acts as a check to insure that it remains in CreationDate order, instead of switching to alphabetic.
You will have to click into a blank box, then click ‘Commit Changes’ at the bottom. Repeat for all varieties.
9) Exit WS6. No need to save anything; by clicking ‘Commit Changes’ you have already done so.
Part 2: Inputting Word Lists into the Microsoft Access Database
10) Find the Microsoft Access database (see step 2) and open it. You may have to double-click ‘WordList’ in the left-hand column. See Figure 6 for how it should look.
11) Because your abbreviations clearly indicate which word list you wish to place in that column, you select the rows under ‘Transcription’ that you will need to put the first word list into. In this example, there are 170 items in our word list, so the end of the selected column appears like Figure 7.
- Note: Replace the coded boxes as well. To keep from losing your reference points in the database, you may wish to label the first item of each word list in the ‘Notes’ column. This will not appear in WS6.
12) Go to your Excel word list document, and select all of the items from the word list of this first variety. Copy them, return to Access, and click ‘Paste.’ It should say, ‘You are about to paste x number of record(s)’ and ask if you’re sure (Figure 8). This is a good way to check that you’ve selected the proper number of items. Click ‘Yes.’
Repeat steps 11 and 12 for all of your varieties, making sure that you’re putting the correct word lists into the correct rows by comparing your code – and checking that it appears in the first three rows – to the name of the variety.
13) After putting all your varieties into Access click ‘Save’ and exit Access. Open WS6 again and click on a variety; your word list should appear in the ‘Form’ column. You can cross-check with your Excel word list document that each is correct. You now have your glosses and your word lists. See Figure 9.
- Note: WS6 will only create entries in Access for the varieties into which you’ve entered something in WS6 (e.g. the codes). If you enter nothing in WS6, it will not generate the appropriate rows in Access.
Part 3: Creating Comparisons
14) Click on the ‘Comparison’ tab at the top. A box will appear for you to name and describe this comparison (Figure 10). At the bottom your survey should appear, along with each variety. Checking the box next to the survey will select all varieties; if you don’t want to compare all of them, select each individually. Click ‘Save’ (note that you must enter a name).
15) You are now ready to begin comparing your word lists! Note that sometimes you have to reselect your desired comparison from the drop-down box under ‘Comparison Information’ to get it to appear. Be sure to double-check that your sort order is CreationDate. Here’s what it looks like (Figure 11). Happy comparing!