How to use these visualisations

Inflectional paradigms are all too often constrained by the medium in which they appear (e.g. static, black-and-white tables in journal articles). This can result in it being difficult to interpret the data or, worse still, can have the effect of obscuring interesting patterns and observations. These visualisations of Chichimec verbs illustrate how technology can aid us in viewing complex linguistic data. Rows and columns can be rearranged by dragging-and-dropping and the whole paradigm can be transposed with a single click. To aid in finding patterns, cells can be grouped, coloured in, and highlighted in various ways. Taking the paradigm to a new level for complex data, like we see in Chichimec, individual layers of analysis can be viewed independently of the rest of the analysis, by sliding individual layers in and out, helping build up a picture of the contribution each layer makes to the overall complexity of the paradigm.

Selecting and reordering verbs

  • Use the drop-down menu in the control panel to select one or more verbs to display.
  • To change the order verbs are displayed in, simply drag and drop the leftmost cell.

Rearranging the paradigm

  • To reorder rows and columns, simply drag and drop the row or column headers.
  • To transpose the rows and columns, click on the symbol at the top left corner of the top paradigm.
  • All verbs will be rearranged simultaneously.

Viewing layers of analysis

  • To view individual layers of the analysis, first switch to two-table view.
  • Then click on a tab to slide out that layers.
  • The same layer will slide out for all verbs.
  • This function also works in one-table view, but the layer being slid out won't be visible.
  • Only one layer can be slid out at a time – to switch the order of the layers, first slide the layer from the right back over to the left.

Exploring the data

  • Use the Analysis ⇔ Form switch to toggle between the analysis and the inflected forms.
  • Use the Ungrouped ⇔ Grouped switch to toggle between individual and merged cells (if set to Grouped, cells will automatically re-merge after rearranging rows/columns).
  • Use the Colour by analysis ⇔ Interactive highlighter switch to toggle between how cells are coloured in. Colour by analysis = all cells will be coloured by group; Interactive highlighter = clicking on any cell will highlight all other cells with the same analysis (for all verbs simultaneously).
  • When sliding out individual layers, all cell groupings (merged cells, coloured in groups, highlighted cells) will update to reflect the layer(s) of analysis being viewed. This applies even when viewing the forms, even though all groupings are based on the underlying analysis.
  • Click on the speaker icon to hear a recording of the verb form (only available for select verb forms, and only available when the Analysis ⇔ Forms switch is set to Forms).


These visualisations were created by Lydia Byrne as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) project, Lexical splits: a novel perspective on the structure of words (grant AH/N006887/1). The support of the AHRC is gratefully acknowledged. To cite: Feist, Timothy, Matthew Baerman, Greville G. Corbett & Erich Round. 2019. Surrey Lexical Splits Visualisations (Chichimec). University of Surrey.