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Info updated: 2019-07-24
Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Dekereke provides functions for investigating phonotactic generalizations by generating a variety of charts of phonological segments and sequences, including charts of consonants, vowels, tone melodies, and syllable patterns (with syllable divisions automatically assigned by a customizable algorithm). Search functions allow the user to find sequences defined in terms of featurally specified segments or patterns (e.g., all sequences consisting of a coronal stop before a high front vowel) or generate charts showings the co-occurrence of two classes of sounds. Searches and tables can be restricted to examine only elements that satisfy specified morphosyntactic and/or phonological criteria, such as grammatical category, number of syllables in a word, root and/or word CV shape, and syllable- or word-position. Displayed data can also be restricted based on the presence or absence of a specified sequence of symbols in any data field.

The software is also useful for data entry and editing. A table is provided into which phonetic transcriptions and lexical data can be entered, sorted, and edited. Specialized editing functions include global search and replace capabilities, the ability to automatically populate a noun class field based on noun prefixes or suffixes found in the data, and limited ability to automatically identify and mark number / noun class prefixes based on a comparison of singular and plural forms.

Several options are available for importing and exporting data. Data can be imported from either SFM (SIL standard format) or XML files. Data can also be copied and pasted into the program, via the Windows clipboard, from data tables in other programs such as Word or Excel. Data can be saved in either XML or SFM (SIL standard format) file. It is also possible to copy to data to the clipboard or export a selected subset of the data meeting specified criteria and/or selected manually with the mouse.

A major emphasis of the software tool is the effective use of sound recordings. There are various options for quickly and effortlessly playing .wav recordings of utterances in the database, including the capability to play multiple recordings (e.g., from different speakers, or representing different paradigmatic forms) of the same lexical item. There is also support for opening sound files in acoustic software programs such as Praat or Speech Analyzer for analysis. In addition, there is a fairly new feature (as of summer 2018) for producing an interactive vowel formant plot that can be used as an aid to vowel identification in phonological fieldwork.

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