Inputting Data into WordSurv

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  • 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.’

Figure 1. Create New Survey

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.’

Figure 2. Create New Variety

5) Repeat step 4, entering further varieties as desired. In a recent survey, the PNG survey office 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 branch’s 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!

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).

Figure 3. Import Gloss Dictionary

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).

Figure 4. Import Complete

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.

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.

Note that 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.

Figure 5. Identifying Lists

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. This should appear.

Figure 6. Microsoft Access Database - Ready for Inputting Word Lists

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 PNG we have 170 items in our word list, so the end of the selected column looks like this.

Figure 7. Selecting Space for a Word List

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.

Figure 8. Pasting the Word Lists

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.

Figure 9. Word Lists Entered

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. 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).

Figure 10. Create New Comparison

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 . Happy comparing!

Figure 11. Ready for Comparison