Chapter Browser

The Chapter Browser link on the splash page leads the user to the Chapter Browser interface:

As the primary purpose of the STEDT database is to aid reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman, much of the lexical data in the STEDT database historically have come from elicitation lists and centered around the types of basic vocabulary widely considered to be useful for historical reconstruction: body parts, flora and fauna, kinship terms, natural objects, and basic grammatical words. As technological limitations have receded over the twenty-five years of the project, larger lexicons and dictionaries have been added. The lexical data are very tentatively arranged into the following semantic categories:

  1. body parts
  2. animals (and animal verbs)
  3. natural objects, plants, and foods
  4. kinship terms, ethnonyms, and social roles
  5. culture, artifacts, and religion
  6. verbs of motion, of manipulation, and of production
  7. adjectival verbs
  8. abstract nouns and verbs, psychological verbs, and verbs of utterance
  9. shape, size, color, measure, number, time, and space
  10. grammatical words

Each of these ten broad semantic categories contains several levels of subcategories. This semantic hierarchy is explorable in the chapter browser.

The chapter browser contains five columns:

  1. semkey
  2. title
  3. num. etyma
  4. notes
  5. flowchart

'Semkey' is a unique identification string given to each semantic category, with the semkey taking the form of a string x, x.x, x.x.x, or x.x.x.x. (Please note the current semantic classification is tentative and subject to further refinement.) The first digit in the semkey indicates the broad semantic category to which it belongs, as described above, where '1' is used for 'Body Parts', '2' is used for 'Animals (and Animal Verbs)', and so on. Each of the following 'x's in the semkey (x.x, x.x.x, etc.) denotes a more fine-grained semantic categorization; for example, 1.5 is 'Limbs, Joints, & Body Measures', 1.5.1 is 'Hand, Arm, Wing', and is 'Hand'.

Each semkey is a clickable link. By clicking on the semkey, the user is led to a webpage giving several types of analyses, as available. These analyses include: a semantic flowchart, illustrating how the concept interacts with other related concepts in the Tibeto-Burman linguistic area; etymological notes, which summarize, clarify, and/or describe the limitations of the etymological analysis; and a list of etyma associated with the semkey.

Title indicates the semantic category or subcategory associated with each semkey. Num. etyma gives the number of reconstructed etyma for a semkey. The notes column indicates whether there are etymological notes available for the semkey. If there are etymological notes available, a number indicates how many are available. To view the etymological notes, click on the semkey number at the far left of the page. The flowchart column indicates whether a semantic flowchart is available for the semkey, with a checkmark indicating that a semantic flowchart is available. To view the semantic flowchart, click on the semkey number at the far left of the page.