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Numen - The Latin Lexicon - An Online Latin Dictionary

Friday, October 1, 2010

Numen Mobile

As usual, the semester is a busy time and I can't spend a lot of time making visible updates. However, as usual, I'm fixing problems in the background as they arise. Mostly what I fix this time of year are definitions as a result of spending a lot of time using Numen to read Latin.

That brings me to Numen Mobile, which I updated last night. I have been using it a lot lately for studying Latin, and I wanted to open it up to the rest of the world. If you visit Numen on a mobile device, you should notice a link at the top of the screen asking you to try the new mobile site. It's been tested to work on iOS and Android. It should work in any web browser reasonably well equipped with Javascript, Cookies, DOM, etc. [e.g., technical mumbo jumbo! read: the lastest and greatest].

If you have an iOS phone, you should be presented with a link that tells you about turning Numen Mobile into a free app on your phone. Just add it to your home screen (shiny new icon and all!) and you'll find that version works really well (provided you have a stable internet connection).

That's it for now. I'm always plodding away, so if it seems like things are dead around here, they're not!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The big day is coming ... New Sources!

I've finished the preliminary data load from Lewis and Short's "A Latin Dictionary". For those interested, there are approximately 51500 lemmata* (compared to 17500 in the Lewis Elementary).

The data is not live for users yet, so you won't be able to see the new data. But I wanted to tell you about this great breakthrough that I've made. The data needs a little bit more massaging to be considered production ready, but it's very, very clean data so far. I spent several weeks mining the data, and my heuristic algorithms** are getting pretty smart. A few more tweaks!

The big news is how this is going to affect the dictionary. I plan on adding a smart option-box in the bottom right-hand corner that will do two things. 1) List which dictionaries are available for searching and 2) allow the user (that's you!) to change the order in which they are searched and turn them on or off. You can see my mockup of this concept to the right. (Incidentally, this is my first post with graphics!)

The biggest benefit of the LNS (Lewis and Short) dictionary is that it contains 3 times the number of words -- granted, most of them are proper names and place names, but sometimes it's nice to know who and where those crazy ancient authors are talking about.

Keep your eyes peeled. It will only be a matter of weeks until this new data is live!

*For those who don't have experience in the field of lexicography, a lemma is a "head word" ...
** Experience-based methods ...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Regular Updates

What's going on now? As always, work goes on in the background, but nothing big has changed. Regardless, I want to make sure the front page stays fresh, so this update is to let you know that I continue to make small improvements to the dictionary data and the paradigms that the Latin parsing engine runs on.

Mostly, I spend a good amount of time correcting bad data, fixing wonky definitions, etc. But from time to time I find an error in a paradigm (for instance, recently I found macrons on -unt verbs) and fix it. Just a few days ago I discovered that short form 3rd adverbs like potenter don't parse properly; that's one of my current projects.

What's going on in the future? I'm still pulling data out of the big Lewis dictionary. I haven't loaded it yet because I'm happily discovering that the big Lewis dictionary has a wealth of information that can be extracted. The hard part, as it turns out, is extracting it. I don't know when the new data will be online, but rest assured I'm working on it often.

Until next time, feedback is always welcome!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I've updated the browse pages to be a bit prettier, and with that hopefully a bit more functional.

As usual, little stuff happens in the background that doesn't deserve a lot of fanfare, but it does always happen nonetheless!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Access Down

Bad news. Access to the server is down at the moment, and has been for about 2 hours.

The building where the server is has lost its internet connection. The IT folks said they're working on it and hope it will be back up with an hour or two.

Thanks for your patience and understanding!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Noun Paradigms

I added noun paradigms to the site. Search or browse for any noun and click on the "See Complete Paradigm" link. Feedback is welcome!

Monday, March 29, 2010

IPOD: Four uses of the independent subjunctive

This past weekend at CAMWS 2010, I learned a new acrostic acronym from Tom Garvey for the four independent uses of the subjunctive. Since we're covering that in my Latin 102 class, I'm going to give it a shot. I don't remember exactly how it went, so my apologies if it's slightly different from him.

I - Jussive* (commands)
P - Possibility
O - Optative (wishes)
D - Deliberative (questions)

* This works because the Latin J was spelled with an I. Also note that this covers the Jussive and the Hortatory. Essentially, these are "polite commands".

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Deponent Verbs

A user pointed out to me that deponent verbs were not showing up properly in the search and browse areas of the site. For example, "conor" was being displayed as "cono". The reason for this is because the parsing engine sees all verbs the same: active, deponent and semi-deponent. It knows they are different because they have flags marking them deponent and semi-deponent.

Long story short, I kludged the user interface to display deponents as they typically appear in most Latin lexica. I hope this helps! Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Video Tutorials

In preparation for CAMWS 2010, I have made a couple of video tutorials about how to use this site. The first two are available at the Numen YouTube playlist.

I hope they are helpful to anybody who wants to know about Numen's features. Several more videos are on the way, so if you have suggestions please let me know!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Main Page Refresh

You might notice that the main page looks a bit different. That's because Blogger (owned by Google) changed the way their service works. The details are unimportant, but for the most part, I think, the site should basically look and act the same.

If the site looks weird to you, try holding the [SHIFT] key while pressing the "reload" or "refresh" icon in your web browser. That will bypass your browser's cache and force it to load a new copy of the website.

If it still doesn't look right, please contact me using the contact page.

Video Tutorials