Monday, July 24, 2006

The Swadesh list

On WiktionaryZ we are now starting to build our content; we can add new Expressions and new DefinedMeanings. This proves to be an important stage in the development of WiktionaryZ; it is no longer abstract, there are now concrete examples where we need multiple DefinedMeanings like the word German where it is either a person, a man or a woman that is of the German nationality.

With all this functionality, it becomes relevant to give all the activity some focus. For us a Swadesh list is an instrument that helps us to give a clue to the differences between related languages and dialects. This is why it was a first resource to complete. The challenge will be to complete this one list for all the languages that are supported on WiktionaryZ.

There are several reasons for concentrating on a small list of 207 Expressions, it can demonstrate among other things that many concepts share the same expression. When all concepts of all expressions of all languages connected to the Swadesh list are defined as part of this project, I would expect at least a few thousand DefinedMeanings as a result.



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