[open-humanities] Open Databases for Verb Morphology

David Clark david.dave.clark at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 19:25:03 GMT 2012


How does this look: http://www.verbix.com/languages/ ?

I notice that it doesn't include Ancient Greek. But it seems to illustrate
what you're getting at.

Essentially, you're talking about creating a web reference that
incorporates information that is already in existence, that may or may not
already be compiled and organized in some print reference work in a library
somewhere (I know there are series of books that purport illustrate all the
inflections of all common verbs in a given language) -- the difference is
that a well-made site could (a) be publicly accessible and (b) take full
advantage of the flexibility, interactivity, dynamism, open-endedness,
etc., that would make a well-made site more useful than a book. I'm really
interested in this pursuit: there are so many ways we can improve upon what
already exists. (My whole deCopia
<http://projectegghead.com/passages/home/>project
is an effort along the same lines.)

Verbix is more accessible and a little bit more useful than a print
resource; but it doesn't have much functionality except the search. There
aren't any examples of the conjugations in context (which wouldn't be hard
to draw from corpora). There doesn't seem to be a way to suggest or add a
verb that is not contained in the database (probably because they're trying
to sell a self-contained Windows program). It is not connected with
dictionary databases to provide definitions or translations of the words
you look up. Basically: there's a lot of room for improvement -- it
wouldn't be hard to make a better reference site.

If there is no source from which you could import verb conjugation data, I
wonder if crowd-sourcing would be a viable way to build up a database?

David


On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM, James Harriman-Smith <
james.harriman-smith at cantab.net> wrote:

> Hi Norma,
>
> And thanks for the mail.
>
> <Got an  example? >
>
> I'm afraid that I haven't any examples of such a thing online, but what
> I'm looking for would be a database that had, say, (using English regular
> verbs as an archetype), all the possible variants on the verb 'walk' in it,
> catalogued accordingly: 'walk' as infinitive, and, for the present tense
> indicative mood, first-second person singular, and first-second-third
> person plural (among others); 'walks' as third person singular; etc.
>
> I've been working on this for a web app that would interrogate a users
> knowledge of Ancient Greek verbs: http://verbgymnasium.com - it currently
> runs off a set of php arrays that I made myself, but if the amount of work
> needed to include verbs other than the regular verb 'luo' is rather
> intimidating....
>
> Hope that helps,
>
> James
>
> On 19 January 2012 18:41, Norma Leistiko <normaleistiko at me.com> wrote:
>
>> Got an  example? I am on the lookout and would love to find this too. But
>> an example to us in English would be very useful. I think I understand, but
>> example would help.
>>
>>   Norma Leistiko
>> normaleistiko at me.com
>> Reference Librarian, on-call in
>> Portland Oregon area
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Jan 19, 2012, at 2:06 AM, James Harriman-Smith wrote:
>>
>> Hi everyone,
>>
>> Does anyone know of an open database for verb morphology (containing a
>> collection of all the possible conjugations of a single (or several) verb
>> archetype)? I'm particularly interested in Ancient Greek, but would be
>> curious about resources for other languages, dead or alive.
>>
>> Let me know,
>>
>> James
>>
>> P.S. No sign of such a thing on http://thedatahub.org ...
>>
>> --
>> James Harriman-Smith
>> Open Literature Working Group Coordinator
>> Open Knowledge Foundation
>> http://okfn.org/members/jameshs
>> Skype: james.harriman.smith
>>  _______________________________________________
>> open-humanities mailing list
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>>
>>
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>
>
> --
> James Harriman-Smith
> Lecteur d'anglais
> ENS de Lyon
> Bureau F323
>
>
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