Managing Lexicography Data: A Practical, Principled Approach Using FLEx (FieldWorks Language Explorer)


In this chapter, we describe a methodology and workflow for developing lexical resources for underdocumented languages in the context of language documentation projects dedicated to one or both of the following goals: (1) to create and distribute a dictionary to a user community; and (2) to create a multipurpose extensible lexical resource that forms an integral part of a language docu- mentation and is interdependent with other components of the project, including a text corpus and grammatical analyses. In particular, we describe a workflow that makes use of FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx),a lexical and text corpus database application, together with an XML-to-(Xe)LaTeXP ython script, from which one can produce professional-quality typeset PDF files for paper or digital publications. All the software and applications we discuss are open source and/or free to obtain and use and have been stably supported for decades. In addition, we describe the methodology we have developed over more than twenty years of language documentation and description in Peruvian Amazonia that addresses concerns about both data sharing and data validity in the context of the lexicographical practicalities of documentation projects focused on underdocumented languages.

Publication date: 
January 1, 2022
Publication type: 
Recent Publication
Beier, Christine, and Lev Michael. 2022. Managing Lexicography Data: A Practical, Principled Approach Using FLEx (FieldWorks Language Explorer). In Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, Bradley McDonnell, Eve Koller, and Lauren B. Collister (eds.), The Open Handbook of Linguistic Data Management, pp. 301-314. MIT Press.