GLOSSA is a web-based user interface for querying linguistic corpora. It is a front-end for the corpus query engine CWB1.1.
The development aims have been to create a user interface that is both user friendly and flexible. These two goals are not entirely compatible, however, and the resulting compromise does not allow the user the full range of expression in the CWB search language. Therefore, a separate interface has been created where search expressions can be entered directly, while still enabling GLOSSA's features for browsing and postprocessing of results. This will only be necessary for very complex queries, and most users will not need it.
Most modern web browsers can be used:
In it's simplest incarnation, the GLOSSA interface should look like figure 2.1. For multilingual corpora and corpora with bibliograpic databases, there will be some additional options; these will be explained later.
If you type a word into the box designated «word 1» and press «Search corpus», a new window will appear2.1. In our example, we are querying a corpus of Northern Sami. Searching for the word «gaskavuohta» (meaning «relation»), gives us a results page (figure 3.1).
In addition to simply typing a value in the search field, users can restrict the search further by clicking the «options» button, and selecting values from the menu (figure 2.3). When selected, they appear in a box below the options button (figure 2.4). The options in this box can be removed by double-clicking them.
Most options can optionally be negated; in this case they will appear with a prefixed exclamation mark (figures 2.5and 2.6).
Depending on the degree of linguistic annotation of the corpus you are querying, a range of annotation options are available. Typically, available options will be part-of-speech, morphological features and syntactic functions.
Positive annotation options will be connected by disjunction, negative annotation options with discjunction. Thus selecting "noun", "verb", "!adjective", "!adverb" will return words that are either nouns or verbs, but neither adjectives nor adverbs. More formally:
(noun OR verb) AND NOT (adjective OR adverb)
It was much much too cold.
An important feature of the GLOSSA system is the ability search very complex phrases. This is done by adding more word boxes, and optinally specifying the lengths of the interwals between them. More word boxes can be added or removed by clicking the buttons with plus or minus signs, on the right side of the screen.
The minimum and maximum interval specifies the number of unspecified words between two query words. If both are left empty, it is assumed that no unspecified tokens can come between the query tokens (i.e. max: zero, min: zero). If the minimum interval is specified, but not the maximum, unlimited maximum interval is assumed. Conversely, if the maximum interval is specified, but not the minimum, a minimum interval of zero is assumed.
Figure 2.7 demonstrates a search for the following phrase:
In some cases, it can be useful to join two different queries in the same result set. This can be done by adding additional phrases, with the buttion marked «++» (these can be removed by clicking the button marked «- -»).
For example, figure 2.8 demonstrates a search for both «coin museum» and «museum for coins».
Below the actual word and phrase queries, we find options for the entire search.
If the regular expressions box is checked, user input will be interpreted as regular expressions: i.e. "." will be interpreted as "one arbitrary character". If it is unchecked, all regular expression characters will be escaped: i.e. "." will be interpreted as a period. The regular expression vocabulary is described in sec:Regular-expressions.
Queries can sometimes be created faster by typing regular expressions than by selecting items from the menu (eg. typing "house.*" instead of typing "house" and then selecting "start of word" from the menu; typing "house|building" instead of using two query rows). Also, more complex regular expressions cannot be created from the menu.
This parameter restricts the matching of searches containing arbitrary tokens. It can be set to:
The search results are divided into a number of pages; the number of results on each page can be adjusted here.
Searching for common words in large corpora can be slow. Restricting the total number of results can improve response times. Unless 'randomize' is selected, the first hits in the corpus will be displayed.
There are two ways of specifying contexts size shown in the search results: by number of sentences or by number of tokens. If we select s-units, the left and right boxes specify the number of sentences to the left and right of the matching sentence.
Similarly, if we select tokens, we specify the number of tokens to the left and right to the matching phrase. Also, the results are displayed as a traditional KWIC concordance. Figure 2.9 contains a results page with seven words on both left and right side.
If your corpus contains meta information (predefined subcorpora, bibliograpic information etc.), Glossa supports both viewing this information (described in 3) and restricting searches according to it.
If available, meta-data restrictions will appear below the general options, as illustrated in figure 2.10.
There are three types of restriction classes: tables, ranges and checkboxes. Using ranges («publication date» in 2.10) and checkboxes («translation» in 2.10) should be straighforward. The tables are used as follows:
The results page consists of:
In this section, actions for processing results are presented. One action is only applicable to multilingual corpora - co-occurence statistics - and is presented in section 4.3.
The sorting function applies to the order of the matches in the results set. The set can be randomized, or sorted alphabetically, according to the source corpus hits, by
If the search criteria of two hits are identical, the secondary search criterion applies, with the same options as the primary criterion.
The setup in figure 3.2 will sort the results
Statistics can be compiled for:
This action generates statistics over the matching phrase in the source corpus.
Statistics can be generated for
The collocation function compiles statistics of tokens occurring within a user specified context window of the matching phrase.
The available collocation statistics for bigrams are:
Note that only first word in the matching phrase is used. Thus if any of the matching phrases contain more than one word, the right-side statistics will contain errors.
The entire result set can be downloaded. Optionally, additional meta-data may be included in the downloaded result set. The text in the result set can include
Information about the text that where applicable for matches in the query can be displayed using this action. Note that this is the texts for which matches could have been returned; not the ones from which matches were actually returned.
This function displays the number of hits, sorted according to the categories of meta-data available, including information about the number of hits per thousand words.
Exploring multilingual corpora with GLOSSA is very similar to exploring monolingual ones:
If the corpus is multilingual, each phrase in the search builder has some extra options (figure 4.1).
Notice first that each phrase has an option for language. The language selected for the first phrase always constitutes the BASE CORPUS. This corpus will be searched first, and search expressions for all other languages - considered ALIGNED CORPORA - will be mached against the aligned regions of the maches of the base corpus. When you change the language of the first phrase, you change which corpus is considered base corpus.
Glossa will display aligned regions for all aligned corpora. If you leave the search options empty, it will by default create a constraint of at least one, unspecified token. This means that if there are parts of the base corpus that does not have aligned regions in one of the aligned corpora, results from those regions will not return matches. This behaviour can be changed by clicking on the «optional alignment» checkbox: The program will return matches from the base corpus, even if there is no aligned regions for that aligned corpus.
Search phrases for aligned corpora can be specified to be negative or positive - using the menu next to the language selector - while base corpus phrases can only be positive.4.1
If more than one query phrases (see sec:Phrase-options) are specified for the same aligned corpus, a new menu appears, allowing us to set the logical relation between them:
The results pages are identical to the results pages for monolingual corpora, except that aligned regions appear under each base corpus match, in gray color (figure 4.2).
The co-occurrence functions provide statistics of the words in the target corpus hits.
When searching for common words, it is recommended to use 'randomize', since it will generally be faster.
Context size for aligned corpora cannot be set; it is always the region or regions aligned to the matching sentence.
Meta-information applies to the base corpus, not the aligned corpora.
The normal search interface can be used to create many kinds of frequency tables, particularly if one takes care to set the 'max results' value appropriately. However, for efficiency reasons, very general frequency lists cannot be created. Therefore, there is a separate interface for creating tables of word frequencies from entire corpora (figure 6.1).
The user can specify what to include in the table (this should be familiar from section 3): word form, lemma form, part-of-speech label, or a combination of theese.6.1
There are several kinds of restrictions that the user can put on the compilation:
Note that all frequency compilations can take up to several minutes, depending on the size of the corpus.
The development has been partially financed by the SPRIK project http://www.hf.uio.no/forskningsprosjekter/sprik/.
A full account of the regular expressions used by CWB can be found on the IMS website http://www.ims.uni-stuttgart.de/projekte/CorpusWorkbench/CQPUserManual/HTML/.
The period (".") represents any character. Thus .ats will match "cats", "mats", "bats" etc.
A list of alternative characters can be represented with square brackets: [cm]ats will match either "cats" or "mats".
A list of alternative strings can be represented with the vertical bar: cats|mats will again match either "cats" or "mats".
The number of times characters can occur can be specified with the following operators:
All the regular expression operators can be searched for; they are interpreted literally if they are prefixed by a backslash. Thus \. maches a period in the corpus, and \? matches a question mark.
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