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Info updated: 2018-07-23
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Update: Version 1.04 has been released! This version has a French interace as well as English (grâce à Dominique), and remembers the interface selection (as well as some additional configuration parameters) on 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. The installer is now hosted on the web site.

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.

(Extracted from the help file)

Introduction to PrimerPrep

The PrimerPrep program is designed to help you analyze texts in a language to discover the letters used in the language, determine how frequently they occur, and provide a suggestion for the order in which these letters might be introduced in a primer. Generally you want to introduce the more frequent letters first in a primer, you want to be able to modify the order of the letters, and you want to know what words can be formed in a given lesson. PrimerPrep can do all this and more!

Initial steps with PrimerPrep

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.