14.0792 methodology of headwords?

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Tue Apr 10 2001 - 03:50:21 EDT

  • Next message: by way of Willard McCarty: "14.0793 ArtSTOR & Digital Promise projects"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 792.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 08:46:51 +0100
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: Webs & lexicography


    I was wondering if any of the subscribers to Humanist might know of any
    methodological reflections in lexicography about the status of headwords
    (lemma) that parallel the discusssions in area of retrieval/searching
    about full text versus indexed searching.

    I know there has been much work done on the question of automatic lemma
    generation with the use case of linking a given segment of text to a
    given dictionary entry. I was wondering about linking a given
    segment of text to several entries from different dictionaries. Of
    course the question aligning variant spellings or even multilingual
    entries becomes interesting when dictionaries themselves become
    considered as linkable texts.

    There are simple markup solutions to this type of situation. The solutions
    that come to mind involve a "web" of cross-referencing that would allow
    users to query into a mixed dictionary database to receive results
    returned with their own query string as the "headword" to the entries. I
    was wondering how such mechanisms might affect notions of the "lemma" as a
    discrete word serving an index function. Would a "lemma" come to be
    considered as any pointer to a "bundle" of grammatical paradigm,
    lexical definition and other forms?

    It seems to me that "to lemmatize" has come to mean to match a given
    occurance with a headword (lemma) in a print dictionary entry (even if
    this dictionary has been converted to an electronic form). I wonder if
    "to lemmatize" will not come to also mean, in general terms, "to point
    towards linguistic resources".

    The challenge of course in the electronic medium is to create pointers and
    resources that do not overwhelm the user and to create interfaces that
    allow users to easily access more of the richly encoded information should
    they so desire. If we are to avoid the type of interface that replicates
    the badgering assistant which is either on (and excessively intrusive) or
    off (and removed from the users mind), we might do well to ponder how
    mildly sophisticated users read print which does not appear to rely on the
    "servant" model. Of course, there are many scholarly productions in print
    filled with abreviations well know to the expert and a mystery to the
    novice and only unravelled with the help of a patient librarian.
    Will the promise of the "shapable" electronic text that is gearable
    to both novice and expert be worth the investment? The larger question is
    of course "scholarship for whom?"

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large
           some threads tangle in tassles, others form the weft

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Apr 10 2001 - 04:00:46 EDT