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[SHOEBOX]: RE: Shoebox

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Friday, July 21, 2000, 10:22
I agree with Jeff's suggestion that you work through the samples provided.
A lot of the setup for interlinearization is something less than intuitively
obvious.  Work through the examples and then start entering sentences in
your language and get Shoebox to brute force the interlinearizations by
adding entries in the lexicon as needed.  This worked for me and allowed me
to discover how the parsing works while at the same time "training" the
parser to parse my language.  If you have specific examples that you are
struggling with, post them and we'll see if we can't get you started.

Since I have effectively created a [SHOEBOX] tagged thread here, I have a
question for other Shoeboxers out there.  amman iar has an auxiliary verb
form that is semantically empty, serving only to specify the grammatical
usage (mood [prefix], aspect[infix], tense [suffix]) of the lexical verb and
as such has no root form, only affixes.  Shoebox will refuse to parse a word
without a root.  As a work around I have arbitrarily selected the mood affix
(which is always required and happens to be a prefix) as the root form.  Is
there a better way to do this?


David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard

‘Yes, I think I shall express the accusative case by a prefix!’

A memorable remark! …Just consider the splendour of the words!   ‘I shall
express the accusative case.’  Magnificent!  Not ‘it is expressed’ nor even
the more shambling ‘it is sometimes expressed’, nor the grim ‘you must learn
how it is expressed’.  What a pondering of alternatives within one’s choice
before the final decision in favour of the daring and unusual prefix, so
personal, so attractive; the final solution of some element in a design that
had hitherto proved refractory.  Here were no base considerations of the
‘practical’, the easiest for the ‘modern mind’, or for the million – only a
question of taste, a satisfaction of a personal pleasure, a private sense of

(from The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays - A Secret Vice,
by J.R.R. Tolkien [Houghton Mifflin Company 1984])