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Lexica Societatis Fenno-Ugricae XXXI:1

Electronic Word Lists: Mari, Mordvin and Udmurt. With SFOu WordListTool 1.3.

Edited by Jorma Luutonen et al.

Please, see also Lexica XXXI:1–2.

The electronic word lists of Mari, Mordvin and Udmurt are intended to be sources for the study of word derivation and word structure. There are approximately 180 000 words in the material, and each entry word is provided with labels that indicate language form, word class and dictionary sources. SFOu WordListTool is a computer program that has been specially developed for handling such lists. There are three user interface languages in the program: English, Russian and Finnish.

The publication consists of a CD and a booklet. The CD contains separate installers for the word lists and and the computer program. The word lists are provided with detailed descriptions in the form of PDF files in English and Russian. The documentation of the program is available as PDF files in English, Russian and Finnish. The 32-page booklet is an introduction to the use of the word list & program package in two languages, English and Russian.

System Requirements: free hard disk space 50 MB, 512 MB of memory; Windows 2000/XP or Mac OS 10.3.9/10.4. ISBN 978-952-5150-98-8

History and purpose

In the past, large word lists with word class labels have been published by Finno-Ugrian Society in the form of reverse dictionaries. The main purpose of such word lists is to serve as a source for the study of derivation and word structure. Reverse dictionaries of Mari (2002) and Mordvin (2004) were produced as joint projects by the workers of the Research Unit for Volgaic Languages at the University of Turku and their partners from the Middle-Volga region. By-products of the projects were computer files containing large vocabularies of the afore mentioned languages.

Although traditional printed dictionaries are user-friendly and suitable for most simple research tasks, it was clear that the computer files would prove to be more useful research materials for users wanting to search for words matching a combination of different search parameters, or if the user’s aim is to compare different languages.

On the basis of such considerations, a new project was launched. It had two goals: a) to supplement the collection of electronic vocabularies with a new word list of the Udmurt language, and b) to produce a computer program specifically designed for handling such word lists. To achieve the first goal, an electronic word list, similar to those of Mari and Mordvin already available, was developed on the basis of the Udmurt reverse dictionary that was printed in Izhevsk in 1992. To accomplish the second aim, an agreement was made between Finno-Ugrian Society (Helsinki) and Turku University of Applied Sciences to produce a user interface program for electronic word lists. The program development work was carried out in the years 2005–2007, and its fruit is the SFOu WordListTool program.


9 February, 2017