Visualizing Russian: Teaching Vocabulary at the Intersection of Frequency, Grammar, and Communication
Visualizing Russian is a suite of tools benefiting language learners, teachers, and researchers and enabling each user-group to access the complex system of the Russian language through visualization methods in order to leverage the powers of compression and expansion of a massive dataset. Tools developed so far analyze texts for relative difficulty with regard to vocabulary content, create frequency lists and display word forms used for each lemma in a text, compare target vocabulary to coverage in a text, identify the most commonly used word forms for a lemma, compare the relative frequency of near-synonyms or other items in a semantic domain, show the usage of nouns with various cases or verbs with various person/number/tense/aspect combinations, and identify the case governance or preposition usage of Russian verbs. Additional tools break down word-formation for prefixes-roots-suffixes in words and identify the field of morphologically-related or semantically-related words for any target word. These tools have contributed to the creation of a new Russian textbook series, Foundations of Russian (Clancy, Egorova, Green, Willis, forthcoming from Routledge Publishers), which presents a 4000-word vocabulary based on the most frequently occurring and communicatively necessary words in Russian.