Linguistics - Interlinear-gloss and double-page format help

I’ve used Scrivener in my translation of a short text (~1000 words) to much effect, but would now like a little guidance on formatting.
Interlinear glossing in linguistics is used to offer a guide to non-speakers of the language regarding it’s grammar etc. Often it consists of 4 lines - the native language, a phonetic rendering, grammar gloss and English translation - each stacked on top of each other, and most importantly, with each linguistic unit in line.
Is there a nice way to do this in Scrivener? I’ve found tables are very unwieldy for this sort of work. Preferably each unit of each line could be tagged so it always appears directly above it’s partner.

On a related note, is it possible to have double-page formatting? I’m imagining the final product looks something like this; on the left-hand page, An English translation on the top half of the page and translation notes beneath. On the right-hand page, the interlinear gloss (containing original language, IPA rendering and grammatical gloss). The two halves would have to matched up so that, for example, if about 1 paragraph of gloss can be squeezed onto a page, only that paragraph appears on the English side, and only notes regarding that paragraph appear below. Here’s an explanatory image.

Anyone have any bright ideas? Any help would be hugely appreciated…

Graig, apologies for necro-ing this post from last year. I am a bit sad that you never got a good answer on how to create interlinearized templates for Scrivener. This is something that I too came here hoping to find.

I think I have my head wrapped around how to do facing page outputs (one language on the verso page, another on the recto) so at least I can story have translated stories in bi-lingual print.

Did you ever find a solution? And I am curious, what language was you working with back in '15? I am working with Shawnee-English.

I’m not surprised Graig didn’t get an answer as that is the sort of thing that requires a level of formatting that Scrivener was never intended to have … it is a drafting tool, not a page-makeup tool. If Scrivener were extended to cover all the individual requirements of every user, it would be a monster that would have people running back to Word for simplicity. :slight_smile:

There is a further problem with this requirement—as a retired linguist, I encountered this problem in my previous existence—which is that every single instance of original language–IPA–grammar gloss–English translation requires a different spacing set, so using tabs is not simple. Actually, I have never had to do it to any great extent, so I could set up my glosses individually, but if I was working on a paper or book that had a large number of examples, I’d take one of two routes:

#1 I’d just use tabs in Scrivener, even though the result wouldn’t line up. I always export to RTF for adding styles etc.—actually, I’d use InDesign if I could afford it—so I would then go through the glosses in NWP using centre-tabs on each gloss and line them up individually;

#2 (the route I’d probably take for large numbers) I’d create each of my glosses in a graphics app, in my case OmniGraffle Pro, so that each point in the gloss for the first three lines was a separate centred text box, each box aligned on the horizontal axis and would export that as a PNG or a PDF depending. In Scrivener I would use links to each of the graphics so that they would be present in the compiled RTF in the right place and could be married up with the English translation in the final layout process. Note: if preferred, the English translation could be included in the graphic in another text box underneath the others if that proved simpler or more appropriate.

I’ll put an example of #2 together to show you.



Here’s an example using OmniGraffle. I’ve exported it both with and without enclosing borders.

#1 I realise that in my last I said ‘3 lines’ because I was confusing “translation” with “English gloss”! :blush:
#2 I have used ‘pinyin’ transcription rather than IPA as that has always suited my purposes.
#3 I couldn’t decide whether to treat 东西 ‘dongxi’ as a single nominal unit—which it actually is in Modern Chinese—or split it up into its constituents, so I’ve included both ways; one might take the same position on 出去 ‘chuqü’, treating it as a single verb, though the use of 去 as a particle is very common. Of course, the language you are concerned with might not present you with such dilemmas, though perhaps with others.
#4 I have not bothered too much about spacing between the individual elements, though that can be easily adjusted.
#5 Of course, you can achieve it with tables, though I can imagine that would pose its own problems, given the basic nature of tables in Scrivener.



1 edit for small corrections.