GAELDICT - Gaelic Textbase - An Milliún Focal Conallach, móide cnuasachtaí beaga de théacsanna Muimhneacha, Connachtacha agus Albanacha.

Fifth internet release, 1999.

Requirements:

Status on 01/05/1999:

For a more recent version of the textbase requiring Windows 9x or later, see here.

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Function:

Search the stored texts for examples of a chosen word, or collocation of words, selected by you to throw light on a point of spelling, grammar or vocabulary.

A search word may contain one or more asterisks, which are wildcards matching any number of letters, including none.

Results of the search may be displayed in one of three ways:

The search is based on any of several pre-compiled indexes, made up of the individual words found in the texts. For the indexes based on Gaelic texts, COMPOUND WORDS ARE SPLIT where appropriate, and INITIAL MUTATIONS ARE REMOVED (except where permanent, e.g. chugam, thart). The indexed form of a word may differ from its form in the text if the text is clearly in error, but the original text form - right or wrong - will always be shown in the contexts.

One of the indexes is of English word-forms found in English translations of several of the texts. WHEN THIS INDEX IS USED TOGETHER WITH THE WHOLE-SENTENCE DISPLAY MODE, THE ENGLISH SENTENCE AND ITS IRISH TRANSLATION ARE SHOWN TOGETHER.

Searching may be restricted to any subset of the texts.

All searches are insensitive to case differences. Wildcard-searches are also insensitive to the presence of accents, and to any hyphen, apostrophe or period within a word (but remember that most Gaelic words containing apostrophes or hyphens are stored as two or more separate words). Non- wildcard searches are sensitive to accents, hyphens, apostrophes and periods.

If a collocation of words is to be sought, two or more words should be supplied at the "Focal:" prompt, separated by spaces (remember to remove non-permanent initial mutations). A choice is given between finding the words, in any order, within the same sentence; or only when they are consecutive and in the order supplied. It is even possible to give one or more of the words as simply the asterisk (*), which matches any word; the search is then assumed to be a consecutive one. (But avoid giving * as the final word, as the search will be slow.) Remember that a hyphen is, in most circumstances, counted as a separate word, so search for "sean-bhean" as three words: "sean - bean" (as well as "sean bean" and "seanbhean" to cover unhyphenated examples).

Note that the indexes are NOT lemmatised, i.e. terminally inflected forms are not linked together.

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Installation and use:

Create a DOS subdirectory to hold the textbase, change to the subdirectory, download the self-extracting file GAELDI99.EXE in binary or image mode, and run it by typing at the DOS prompt: GAELDI99

The following files will be created in the current directory:

You may then delete GAELDI99.EXE.

The texts may be accessed only through the program FOCAL.

To run the textbase, type: FOCAL

This will start the textbase with the ULAIDH index. To start with the ALBA index, for example, give at the DOS prompt: FOCAL ALBA

The program's main menu commands are:

For typing accented vowels, I recommend you install Keyswap 1.2, which you may download in the self-extracting archive file KEYSWP12.EXE. Keyswap permits long vowels to be typed using the apostrophe as a dead-key, DOS-wide. (It has no effect on native Windows programs.)

FOCAL uses DOS codepage 850 to display all the uppercase and lowercase accented vowels, but it does *not* require the installation of DOS codepage switching, nor use of the SCREENCP utility from KEYSWP12.EXE, but automatically switches the screen to codepage 850 on starting, and back to the previous character-set on finishing. You should however ensure that the DOS file EGA.CPI is available via the DOS path.

If running FOCAL in a DOS window under MS-Windows, all the accented letters will be seen correctly if the DOS window is set full-screen. Switching between full-screen and part-screen DOS windows is by pressing Alt/Enter. Under Windows 95 (and 98?), all the accented letters will be seen correctly in part-screen DOS windows if the CHANGECP program from the Windows 95 Companion CD-ROM is run, and cp850 selected.

The screen contents may be dumped (appended) by Alt/D to a file called FOCAL.DMP in the current directory, if possible. If this is not possible, e.g. because the current directory is read-only in a network situation, you will be prompted for the name of the screen dump file.

Multi-word retrievals may require the creation of workfiles. These will be placed in the current directory, if possible. If this is not possible, e.g. because the current directory is read-only in a network situation, you will be prompted for the name of the workfile directory.

Known problems

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Miscellaneous:

A request or three

The compiler intends to continue to add Ulster Irish texts to the textbase. He would welcome volunteers to:

What's new this time

The fourth Internet release was on 04/11/1998.

The third Internet release was on 07/08/1997.

The second Internet release was on 17/07/1996.

The first Internet release was in late 1995.

Acknowledgements for Gaelic e-texts:

Original form from Foclóir na Nua-Ghaeilge, Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann:

Original form from Caoimhín Ó Donnaile at Sabhal Mór Ostaig:

Original form from Lá:

Support in preparation from Irish Studies, University of Ulster, Coleraine:

Assistance in preparation from Ailbhe Ó Corráin:

Assistance in preparation from Nollaig Ó hUrmoltaigh:

Mostly my own work:

Acknowledgements for English e-texts:

Ciarán Ó Duibhín, 1999/05/01
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