LINGUIST List 2.446

Wed 28 Aug 1991

Disc: Linguistic Software

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. John E. Koontz, Re: Software
  2. , Re: Responses: Software, Addresses, "On"
  3. , Re: Software

Message 1: Re: Software

Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1991 12:36:12
From: John E. Koontz <>
Subject: Re: Software
Susan Fisher asks:
> Someone from Australia told me that there is software "out there" that
> lets you keep 2 lines together, as in word-for-word glosses. Does anyone
> know more about these programs, and could they be submitted to the
> software exhibit?
I don't know about software to keep things together - that's the business of
your word processor - but there are at least two programs that can help you
construct parallel lines of annotations, etc., beneath an original source
line. You supply the glosses and analyses; they do the alignment, and
remember previous glosses when faced with a new line of input.
The two I have in mind are the Summer Institute of Linguistics' (SIL) IT
program, which does nothing but this, and their Shoebox program, which is
a linguistic database (slip-base) program that includes glossing as part of
its implementation of the slipping operation. Note that these are PC
programs, though there is also a commercial version of IT for the Mac. I
seem to recall a price above $300 US.
IT is out of print, but used to cost c. $70 US. It is supposed to be due
out in a new and final revision soon. Shoebox is in print, maintained by
SIL's JAARS, and costs c. $14 US. Both programs have their virtues and flaws
and work with non-proportional fonts only. That is, they align things with
spaces, and assume that all characters, including space, are equal in width.
SIL also sells an inexpensive set of TeX macros that can use IT output (and
therefore also the similar Shoebox output, I suppose) to typeset interlinear
material in proportional fonts. I don't recall the price for this, but it
was $20-$30 or so.
Doing the same task as these TeX macros in most word processors is virtually
impossible. It involves setting up customized sets of tab stops for each
bundle of lines, or reverting to nonproportional fonts. Please lobby your
word processing vendors for this feature! Surely linguists aren't the only
ones who can make good use of it!
I have recently heard on the Nota Bene word processor listserv of a German
program that does something similar to what IT and Shoebox do, using the
metaphor of a musical score. It is apparently called Partitur. I have
little or no information on it.
In response to Fisher's plea, by all means let SIL demonstrate some of their
numerous programs for linguists at LSA! Their stuff isn't perfect, but it
is pretty good, and not widely enough known.
Incidentally, the address for SIL products is:
Academic Book Center
Summer Institute of Linguistics
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road
Dallas, TX 75236
JAARS can be reached at:
Software Librarian
International Computer Services
Box 248
Waxhaw, NC 28173
Note that most SIL-authored software that I am aware of is freely
distributable, but the documentation is copyrighted, and has to be purchased
from SIL. The documentation comes with the necessary diskettes. When
ordering, specify what kind of diskettes (3.5 or 5.25) you need. If you
are in a hurry, in the past the Academic Book Store has been willing to send
invoices with the order, at least within the USA.
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Message 2: Re: Responses: Software, Addresses, "On"

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1991 22:50 EDT
From: <BELMORE%Vax2.Concordia.CApucc.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Responses: Software, Addresses, "On"
For a review of software for working with corpora, see Knut Hofland's
"Concordance programs for personal computers" in Johansson, Stig and
Anna-Brita Stenstrom. English computer corpora. Selected papers and research
guide. Tiel:Mouton de Gruyter, 283-307. The book has just been published.
Jacques Noel's article in the same collection "Corpora and dictionaries in
multiline records: A Unix/Awk approach to home=-made text retrieval (307-316)
is also interesting.
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Message 3: Re: Software

Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1991 23:15 EDT
From: <BELMORE%Vax2.Concordia.CApucc.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: Software
Don't know if there are programs for psycholinguistic experiments but I
think there are Mac programs under the more general heading psychology
experments. Suggest you describe the kind of data you want to collect and
query GENIE, America Online, Compuserve, etc. Meanwhile, you probablywill
find the article in MacWorld Aug. '91 "Science and the Mac" of interest.
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