One of the key concepts of Language Explorer is that wherever feasible, identical data is stored only once, in one place. Examples of data that are normalized this way include grammatical categories, phonetic environments, and dictionary reversal keys. This allows the user to see all of the data of a given type together, in one view. For example, the alternate forms of a lexical entry can be conditioned on a phonetic environment string. That is, we can specify the phonetic environments in which that alternate form appears. Now if we leave the lexicon and go to the Environments tool, we see all the string environments that have been used in any lexical entry, as in this screenshot:

Screenshot of Environment Strings

Looking at this data together allows us to do the following:

  • capture generalizations about the language
  • catch mistakes or inconsistencies that are more obvious when shown side-by-side with correct entries
  • (eventually) quickly see all the places where an environment is used