Nerthus Project

The map of Old English derivation

Download Xglore and Xglore manual - 3D visualization of derivational map (Xglore required)

Nerthus 3D as a derivational map of the Old English lexicon

The lexical paradigms of Old English have been gathered in a derivational map of the language that represents the morphological and lexical relations holding among the approximately 30,000 lexical items filed in the database. Then, José Manuel Valle Melón and Álvaro Rodríguez Miranda (Laboratory for the Geometric Documentation of the Heritage – University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU) have implemented the three-dimensional model of the derivational map with the software Xglore, a 3D graph explorer whose nodes are placed in 3D space relative to their level from the root node, so that child nodes are arranged centrifugally around the corresponding parent node. The derivational map is organized in lexical paradigms, in which edges and labels code the morphological and lexical relations that result. Lexical layers are represented by means of successive generations of node of children stemming from the parent node, as can be seen below:

Fig 1: The lexical paradigm of (ge)beodan.

The graph of the derivational paradigm of (ge)bēodan specifies, among other things, that the strong verb (class II) ābēodan 'to order, proclaim' (pret. sing. ā bēad, pret. plur. ābudon, past part. āboden) is the base of the zero derived weak verb (class 2) ābodian 'to announce'. This information is conveyed by means of the nodes 1 and 2 and the edge 1-> 2, as presented below:

1 [label="a:be:odan" Predicate="a:be:odan" Status="PREFIXED" "Alternative spelling"="" "Lexical category"="verb" "Morphological class"="strong II" "Inflectional paradigm"="pret. sing. a: be:ad, pret. plur. a:budon, past part. a:boden" Translation="to order, proclaim, bid, command, direct; summon, call out; announce, relate, declare, present, offer. ha+:l a: to wish one good luck, greet, bid farewell to" ];
2 [label="a:bodian" Predicate="a:bodian" Status="ZERODERIVED" "Alternative spelling"="" "Lexical category"="verb" "Morphological class"="weak 2" "Inflectional paradigm"="" Translation="to announce, proclaim" ];
1-> 2 ;

As can be seen in the next figure, information on the morphology and meaning of a given member of the paradigm can be accessed by clicking on the lexical item in question. A word list is also provided in which lexical entries are sorted alphabetically.

Fig. 2: The lexical paradigm of stincan.

Overall, the 3D representation of the derivational map offers a set of interactive graphics that provide access to the information contained by an alphanumeric lexical database and facilitate the retrieval of linguistic or metalinguistic data. 3D lexical paradigms allow for spatial manipulation, including focus on a given part of the paradigm or the tracking of relations of derivation and hyponymy. Finally, metadata have been added to the resource that comply with the standards of the Dublin Core metadata element set.