Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

[SHOEBOX] Null Morphemes

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Saturday, July 22, 2000, 18:32
At 19:32 21.7.2000 -0400, Jeff Sheets wrote:

>I have tried everything I can think of to get Null Morphemes to work, and I >think we've probably found something Shoebox doesn't handle gracefully. I >know that I would have no interest in adding very many alternate forms per >noun and pronoun into a lexicon. :) Variables don't seem to be interpreted >unless reduplication is used, so I think that is out. The only alternative I >can see to the inelegant solution of multiple alternate forms would be to >leave it out and assume that it is there... or add -0 like David has been >doing. I have emailed SIL about it to see if they have a better solution.
I think it can be done. Add whatever symbol you like for "null" to your alphabet in the Language Encoding Properties dialog box, taking care to add a Variable "Null" to the Variables tab.(I would advise against using the digit 0, simply because in most fonts it is too similar to the letters oO. The uppercase Danish letter Ø (Oslash) might do if you haven't got øØ in your orthography. I use -- generally, not yet in Shoebox -- the international currency symbol ¤, since it is similar to a crossed-out circle, which some scandinavians use as an empty set symbol.) Then you must add your null symbol to the lexicon. Look up "Context Sensitivity—Preventing Incorrect Parses" and "Underlying Forms" in the help file for suggestions how it may be done. Note sepecially in "Underlying Forms" how the polysemy of _hit_ is handled. In David's specific case I think the lexicon entry for _el-_ might look like this: \lx el- \u el- \u el-¤ \ps MOOD \ge assertive which means that you do have a choice between two underlying analyses for each occurrence of _el-_, but you do not have to make lexicon entries for all surface combinations of _el-_ with the various suffixes, and the interlinear parse will look *much* nicer! :-) I assume you will have to add the null morpheme (or several null morphemes with different PoS and glosses to the lexicon, as e.g.: \lx ¤ \a \u ¤ \ps AUX \ge is I'm not sure you really can leave an empty \a field and get the right result. It will have to be tried. If not, delete the empty \a field and hope Shoebox won't mind that the null morpheme(s) never actually occur on the surface! /BP 8^)> -- B.Philip Jonsson (delete X) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Truth, Sir, is a cow which will give [skeptics] no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull." -- Sam. Johnson (no rel. ;)