Reconfiguring a Lexicon

Personal Lexicon allows you to change the properties of your lexicon at any time. Anything that was defined in the New Lexicon dialog when you created your lexicon can be changed later using the Lexicon Properties dialog. However, it's important to realize that changes may have permanent side-effects. In this section, we'll discuss what changes are reversible even after they're made and which ones aren't.

To open the Lexicon Properties dialog, go to the File menu and select Lexicon Properties. You'll notice that it looks exactly like the New Lexicon dialog. You're free to change the name of the lexicon, the names of the languages, the lexical types, the tracking options, and the geographical regions, just as you did when you created the lexicon. No change will be made permanent until you click the Ok button on this dialog. Even if you open the Lexical Type Details dialog for a lexical type, change its definition, and click Ok, the change won't be made in your lexicon until you click Ok on the Lexicon Properties dialog. If you decide you want to throw away the changes you've made then you can always click Cancel.

You are free to add and remove lexical types as long as you aren't trying to remove a lexical type that's assigned to an existing lexical item. Attempting to do so will produce a warning message. You can even change an existing type's definition, but here you have to be more careful because these changes can cause you to lose data if you're not careful. If you remove a gender or lexical class then any lexical item assigned that gender or class will no longer have this assignment. The gender or class for the lexical item will be left unassigned. There are similar consequences if you remove a conjugation descriptor or conjugation form from a lexical type. Any lexical item data associated with the deleted descriptor or form will be lost. Of course, if you haven't entered any relevant conjugation data then you don't have to worry. Alternatively, renaming a custom conjugation descriptor or conjugation form is completely safe. No lexical item data will be lost.

If you forgot to select the appropriate language template when you created your lexicon then it's probably not too late. But if any lexical items are assigned a lexical type not contained in the new template then you will be asked if you want to merge these types with the ones in the template or if you want to cancel the action. Lexical types from one template will often have corresponding types in another. In this case, lexical items assigned to an old type will be reassigned to the new type. For example, noun, verb, adjective, and adverb lexical types in the English language template have equivalents in the Portuguese language template. Therefore, when switching from the English template to the Portuguese template, lexical items assigned to noun will be converted to the Portuguese equivalent, substantivo, those assigned to verb will be converted to verbo, etc. However, lexical type equivalents are often defined differently, therefore you could lose gender, class, or conjugation data that you've entered. Again, if you haven't entered any of this data then it isn't a problem. On the other hand, if you've entered a significant amount of this data then it may be worthwhile for you to redefine the lexical types manually. This means changing the lexical types' names as well as changing or adding names of genders, classes, conjugation descriptors, and conjugation forms.

In contrast to lexical type definitions, the information tracking options can be changed without losing any lexical item data even though it may appear otherwise.  For instance, if you've been tracking which personal examples have been verified, but for some reason decide to turn this option off, then even though you no longer see whether a personal example has been verified, the information is still there.  Later, when you turn personal example verification back on then you'll again see that the examples you previously marked as verified are still marked verified.  In essence, you just choose to hide and unhide this information.  The same is true for the Turn on definitions option.  Definitions are not lost by turning this option off even though you can't see them.

Lastly, if you choose to delete a geographic region then any links it has to lexical item translations will be lost.  No warning message will be given even if the region is used by existing lexical items.  The action is irreversible once you click Ok.