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Bibtex bibliographies selected by keywords, with customised keyword separators

This is a very specialised problem, but since I just found the solution, I wanted to briefly document this for myself. I usually use natbib, but for the preparation of reading lists, sorted by topic, I wanted to try biblatex. Creating a list of references selected by a keyword is not a problem at all.

In your preamble, add:

\usepackage[style=authoryear, backend=biber]{biblatex}
	\addbibresource{BIBFILE.bib}

Then, in the place where you want to print the bibliography, add:

\nocite{*}
\printbibliography[keyword=KEYWORD]

However, I use bibdesk as my bibtex editor and it uses “;” as a separator instead of the biber default “,”. And because I’m not very smart and never really saw the significance, I have sometimes manually used “,” in addition to “;” as a separator. So, if you have multiple keywords in your well-groomed bibliography, and they are not all separated by “,”, you’re a bit in trouble. There is, however, a solution for this problem, as explained in this post. You can modify the document-specific biber configuration file to accept different separators. Make sure that you have compiled your document with biber as backend option ([backend=biber]). So there should be a configuration file FILENAME.bcf
In the terminal, I have run the following command to include both “,” and “;” as separators:

biber --xsvsep=[\,\;] FILENAME.bcf

Then recompile your document. Et voilà.

Starting in Saarbrücken: Information density, complexity and cross-linguistic variation

It’s October already and I have just received my appointment as a guest professor in the SFB (special research unit) on Information density in Saarbrücken. I will teach a class on “Cross-linguistic variation in structural complexity” and I’m excited to learn more about information density and possible applications of existing hypotheses and tools to typological comparison.

Now out: Dozing eyes and drunken faces

 In many languages of the world, emotions and medical conditions are not attributed to an individual, but to a certain body part. For example, instead of saying “I am sad”, you may have to say something along the lines of “my heart is heavy” in many languages. In these cases, the meaning of “being sad” does not reside in a single word. “Heart” alone does not express sadness, and neither does “heavy”. Only the combination of the two can express this concept. The question is then how such languages form expressions that refer to an abstract emotion such as “sadness” . And the answer is that there are different strategies. One strategy is to say something like “the heaviness of the heart”. The Oceanic language Daakaka, however, uses a different strategy. Here, an emotion concept is expressed by a structure such as “the heavy heart”. This paper investigates these differences and their implications. Get it here or ask me for the preprint.

Prepare your LaTeX document for publication

When your manuscript has been accepted for publication, and you have adjusted the layout to the publisher’s requirements, these are the final steps before submission:

  • Create a new folder “Manuscript_revised” and save your .tex file to it.
  • Save all external illustration files into your new folder.
  • Clean up your code, specifically:
  • Remove any code that is commented out.
  • Remove any code from the preamble that you do not need for the document.
  • Create a bibliography file that only contains the references in the document using bibexport.
  • To do this, I usually navigate to my “Manuscript_revised” folder in the Terminal.
  • Then I type
    bibexport -o SpecificBibliography.bib Manuscript_revised.aux
  • Then I replace the reference to my bibliography file in my .tex document by the new SpecificBibliography.bib I just created
  • Compile, check, print out and look for typos.
  • Submit (yay!)

Compiling a list of glosses from your glossed examples in a LaTeX document (under UNIX)

If you have many interlinearized examples in your LaTeX documents, you have probably wondered about the best way to handle them. Here are some ideas. There are two potential problems with the glosses: 1) different publishers may have different requirements for how to print them, so transferring glossed examples from one manuscript to another may be difficult. 2) You’ll want to have a list of all the glosses in your document, and it should be complete and consistent. To solve all that, the main strategy is to label all your glosses explicitly as such by using a new command we may call “Gloss”:

\newcommand{\Gloss}[1]{\textsc{#1}}

This command prints all your glosses in small caps. If a publisher requires all-caps instead, you can change this command to:

\newcommand{\Gloss}[1]{\MakeUppercase{#1}}

Then you need to use this command, of course, when interlinearising examples. This might look as follows:

\exg. \dots a mwe \textbf{yur}-yurmiline suku-on nyoo, suku-on ane gyes=an nyoo. \\
  and \Gloss{real} \Gloss{redup}-forget stuff.of-\Gloss{3sg}.\Gloss{poss} \Gloss{3pl} stuff.of-\Gloss{3sg}.\Gloss{poss} \Gloss{tr} work=\Gloss{nmlz} \Gloss{3pl}\\
  \enquote{and he repeatedly forgot his things, his tools for work.}

In order to use this command for your automatic compilation of glosses, it is important to not include any separators in a gloss. As you can see above, separators such as “.-=” are not included in within the wavy brackets of a Gloss argument, but stay outside.

Now open your terminal and type in the following command:

grep 'Gloss' INFILE.tex | tr -s ' .;:\-=()\\?\t' '\n' | grep 'Gloss' | sort -u

I usually use ack instead of grep, but here grep works just fine. Let’s break this down a little: the first “grep” command selects all lines that contain the sequence “Gloss” out of your INFILE.tex document (this command isn’t strictly necessary). The “tr” command translates all occurrences of the characters in the first pair of quotation marks into the newline character “\n”. The next command takes the result of that action and again filters out only those lines that contain the word “Gloss”. And “sort -u” sorts uniquely, that is, it gives you an alphabetical list of your search with duplicates thrown out. The result of this action is displayed at the end of this post.

You can take this list directly and put it into your LaTeX document. If you use the sublime editor you can use multiple cursors to add dashes and semicolons to all entries at the same time. Usually, there will be inconsistencies and typos in your glosses. If you get any open brackets as in “Gloss{xx”, that probably means you included a separator within the brackets and you’ll have to look for those cases. So first use the list to clean up your glosses, run the above command again after each round, and once your list looks perfect, include it in your LaTeX document.

Gloss
Gloss{1du}
Gloss{1excl}
Gloss{1incl}
Gloss{1pl}
Gloss{1sg}
Gloss{1s}
Gloss{2sg}
Gloss{2s}
Gloss{2}
Gloss{3du}
Gloss{3pc}
Gloss{3pl}
Gloss{3sg
Gloss{3sg}
Gloss{3}
Gloss{adv}
Gloss{ad}
Gloss{agr}
Gloss{ana}
Gloss{art}
Gloss{asr}
Gloss{aux}
Gloss{bi}
Gloss{body
Gloss{caus}
Gloss{clf}
Gloss{comp}
Gloss{cond}
Gloss{conj}
Gloss{cons}
Gloss{cont}
Gloss{cop}
Gloss{def}
Gloss{dem}
Gloss{detr}
Gloss{det}
Gloss{disc}
Gloss{dist}
Gloss{dl}
Gloss{dst}
Gloss{es}
Gloss{excl}
Gloss{freq}
Gloss{fut}
Gloss{hab}
Gloss{hesit}
Gloss{impf}
Gloss{incl}
Gloss{incpt}
Gloss{irr
Gloss{irr}
Gloss{it}
Gloss{it}/
Gloss{loc}
Gloss{med}
Gloss{name}
Gloss{nec}
Gloss{neg2}
Gloss{neg}
Gloss{nmlz}
Gloss{np}s
Gloss{num}
Gloss{obj}
Gloss{part}
Gloss{pft}
Gloss{pl}
Gloss{poss1}
Gloss{poss2}
Gloss{poss}
Gloss{pos}
Gloss{pot}
Gloss{pp}
Gloss{prep}
Gloss{prf}
Gloss{prog}
Gloss{prox}
Gloss{prsup}
Gloss{real}
Gloss{recp}
Gloss{redup}
Gloss{res}
Gloss{sbj}

Three deaths and one marriage…

…made for a challenging field trip to Ambrym this year. Still, I was lucky enough to get enough speakers both of Daakaka and Dalkalaen to collect the data we need for MelaTAMP – thanks to the people of Emyotungan and Tio Bang in Port Vila. Now I’m excited to start with the analysis. Stay tuned.

MelaTAMP Workshop in Port Vila

We held a small workshop at the University of the South Pacific yesterday, on Emalus Campus in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The purpose was to introduce and discuss the storyboards we have developed as part of the MelaTAMP project.

We thank Robert Early and Meriani Situ for their organisation and local support, and we’re happy that our audience extended far beyond our few project members and collaborators.