Semi-automating the Reading Programme for a Historical Dictionary Project

Tim van Niekerk, Johannes Schäfer, Ulrich Heid
2018 Lexikos  
This paper describes the resources and software procedures used or developed in a major enabling step towards the revision of the scholarly reference work A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles (DSAE, Silva et al. 1996), namely the semi-automatic generation of a digitally-sourced lexical database on which new and updated dictionary entries will be based; as well as the addition, in parallel, of a new corpus of South African English (SAE) to the project. Drawing on online
more » ... . Drawing on online data sources and an extensive list of known SAE word forms, we have developed a software toolchain to gather, encode, annotate and collate textual sources, producing: (i) a 3.1-billion part-of-speech-annotated corpus of South African English; (ii) a lexical database of illustrative quotations for over 20,000 known SAE word forms, available for selection at the entry-revision stage; and (iii) a list of potential new variant spellings and headword inclusion candidates. These steps replace, where recent electronic sources are concerned, the mechanical aspects of quotation gathering, normally undertaken manually through a reading programme requiring years of teamwork to acquire sufficient coverage (cf. Hicks 2010). Opsomming: Die semi-outomatisering van die leesprogramme van 'n historiese woordeboekprojek. Hierdie artikel beskryf die hulpbronne en sagtewareprosedures wat gebruik word of ontwikkel is in 'n belangrike bemagtigingstap na die hersiening van die vakkundige naslaanwerk A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles (DSAE, Silva et al. 1996), naamlik die semi-outomatiese generering van 'n leksikale databasis van digitale bronne waarop nuwe en bygewerkte woordeboekinskrywings gebaseer sal wees; asook die gelyktydige toevoeging van 'n nuwe korpus van Suid-Afrikaanse Engels (SAE) tot die projek. Gebaseer op aanlyn data-
doi:10.5788/28-1-1468 fatcat:7w65azo5ajaj7j5jleye27u3ue