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Info updated: 2018-11-13
Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

The PrimerPrep program is designed to help you easily analyze texts in a language to discover the letters and words it uses and to determine how frequently they occur. PrimerPrep suggests an order for introducing letters in a primer based on their frequency, and allows you to modify the order with a simple drag-and-drop. Each time the order changes, PrimerPrep immediately recalculates and shows you the words that can be formed in each lesson.

Note: On some computers, when you start PrimerPrep it takes a little while to open the window. So when you first start the program, please be patient! It usually seems to start faster on subsequent runs.

As of Version 1.04, PrimerPrep has a French interface as well as English, and remembers the program selections for subsequent runs. There is a new option in the Configure menu to treat combining diacritics as separate characters. This might be important in languages where accents represent tone and are treated as a segment above the letters.

Initial steps with PrimerPrep (Extracted from the help file)

At a basic level, the PrimerPrep program is very simple to use. All you need to do is select Add Texts... from the File menu, browse to find a text file in the language you want to analyze, select the file and click Open. PrimerPrep analyzes the words in the file, prepares a list of words and places them in the left pane of the window, sorted by decreasing order of frequency. It also analyzes the letters (and digraphs – more about that later) and creates a suggested order in which the letters might be introduced in a primer. The “teaching order” at this point is simply a list of the letters in decreasing order of frequency. PrimerPrep displays this list in the right pane of the window, and in addition to showing each letter and its count (i.e. frequency of occurrence), it also gives a list of words from the text which can be built from only that letter and all of the letters that are higher in the list. These are words that might be used as example words in a primer. For example, if we analyzed an English text, the most frequent letter might be ‘a’, and the example words list would contain the single word ‘a’. If the next letter was ‘m’, the example word list might contain ‘am’, ‘ma’ and ‘mama’. If the next letter was ‘p’, example words might be ‘pa’, ‘map’, ‘amp’ and ‘papa’. The breadth of example words presented depends on the size and breadth of your example text that you selected to analyze.