Most important changes between old and new questionnaire
In this final version of the questionnaire, you will find a blue Help button on the top right side of the Main Layout. The Help functions comprise a "Guided Tour" to the questionnaire, the APiCS Guidelines, a Glossary explaining some important linguistic terms used in the questionnaire, and the Leipzig Glossing Rules. We have also provided three model databases filled in by the editors, for Seychelles Creole, Batavia Creole, and Principense. You can reach these model databases from the Main Layout via the blue buttons "Seychelles", "Batavia", and "Principense". To go back to your own database, just click on the blue button "My file".
Here are the most important changes which we have made.
Number and order of features
You will see that we have reduced the number of features to 120 (from 153). We have also changed the order and numering of the features, so Feature 6 in the older version will NOT correspond to Feature 6 in the new version. (The data that you provided on the features that we removed are still there, and you can access them through the layout "data of deleted features", if you wish. However, they do not have a function for the project anymore.)
In this final version, we ask you to make a value choice for EACH value, i.e. you have to say for each value whether it is true or false. So if you have no reason to change your value selection, you still need to select "false" for the other values. (However, for the single-choice features, this has been done automatically.)
Main layout – special fields for Prior users
Your database will automatically open on a special Main layout for Prior users. On the right-hand side of this Main layout you will see three pink fields:
- "Feature change alert"
- "Feature change comment", and
- "Editors' comments".
In the first two fields we tell you whether a feature has changed with respect to the earlier version, and if so in which way it has changed. In the latter, you will sometimes find comments from the editors which you may find helpful in revising the value assigment or formulating your comments etc.
One of the most important innovations of the new questionnaire is the fact that the examples now appear in a separate database table. This means that the examples are identified by a number and are linked to the feature-data table through this number. Thus, an example can be used for several features, and you can link as many examples as you wish to each chosen value. (If you selected several values in the old version, all your examples have been linked to the first of these values; you will need to relink them by selecting an example number from the drop-down list in the example number field, and/or by deleting the example number. Note that deleting the example number in the Main layout does not mean deleting the example; it only means deleting the link.)
You will recall that in the old questionnaire, we asked for two kinds of impressionistic frequency information (in case more than one value is chosen), text frequency and system frequency. We realized that this distinction was too difficult, and we are now asking only for text frequency (now called "relative importance", to stress that we are only asking about impressionistic frequency). The default way of giving relative importance information is now by words ("pervasive", "majority", "marginal", etc.), but for those of you who have more precise information or intuitions, the option of giving it in numeric terms is also there.
Another useful addition to the questionnaire is the "Incomplete fields" field, which tells you exactly what you still need to do, and the "Progress report" button (to the right of the feature annotation), which gives you an overview of the status of all the features.
The filling in of the segments information has also become much easier, through the "IPA Chart" layout. For details, see the Guidelines.