Band Notation

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Wenlin 216x93.png Appendix E of the Wenlin User’s Guide


Band notation is of interest if you add or modify dictionary entries. It is introduced in Chapter 9. This appendix describes all of the bands used in the Cídiǎn (Chinese-English) and Yīng-Hàn (English-Chinese) dictionaries. Band notation is not used in the Zìdiǎn (dictionary of single Chinese characters).

When you are editing a dictionary entry, the different kinds of information in the entry, such as the headword (i.e., the word being defined), the part(s) of speech, definition(s) and example(s) are all displayed in their own bands. Each band starts on a new line, and the beginning of the line (until the first space or @ symbol) is the band name.

Following the band name, the body or content of the band continues until the next newline (carriage return) character. It’s OK for a long band to wrap around to the next line, but it must not be split by a newline character since that would indicate the start of another band. There must be one or more spaces between the band name and the remainder of the band – it makes no difference how many spaces, because when you save the entry, it is automatically adjusted to have only one space there; and when the entry is edited again, more spaces are automatically inserted.

An entry doesn’t need to use all the different possible bands. If, for instance, an entry does not (yet) have any example sentences, then it doesn’t have an example band.

Digits that precede band names are called mode numbers; we'll explain them further below.

The symbol @ is used for two purposes explained below, after the list of band names.

A Big Example

Let’s look at an illustrative Cídiǎn entry, the one for the word ²yuè 越.

First, this is what the entry normally looks like, when it is not being edited:

越 ²yuè {C} b.f. ①get/jump over ▷¹yuèqiáng ②exceed; overstep ▷yuèjiè ③at a high pitch (of one's voice/emotions) ▷¹jīyuè ◆ ①Surname ②〈hist.〉Viet (state in SE China) ③one of the Warring States ④a name for eastern Zhejiang ◆∼ A ∼ B {B} the more A the more B | ∼ duō ∼ hǎo ∼多∼好 the more the better ◆ab. ▷Yuènán
192.5 [XHPC:48(动)+29(副)+271(越...越...)] average occurrences per million characters of text

When you enable editing, the same entry looks like this, in band notation:

pinyin    ²yuè
characters    越
grade    C
remark@yy200307    Changed gr from B to C per HSK.
serial-number    1016604620
reference    55246
1part-of-speech    b.f.
11definition    get/jump over
11in    ¹yuèqiáng [1016634593]
12definition    exceed; overstep
12in    yuèjiè [1016623147]
13definition    at a high pitch (of one's voice/emotions)
13in    ¹jīyuè [1006676476]
2part-of-speech    n.
21definition    Surname
22environment    @@hist.
22definition    @@Viet (state in SE China)
23definition@wei    @@one of the Warring States
24definition@wei    @@a name for eastern Zhejiang
remark@TB2006年03月21日    Abridged all under "noun" except "Surname".
3part-of-speech    cons.
3grade    B
remark@Yy2008.9.8    Added 3gr B per Dagang.
3construction    ∼ A ∼ B
3definition    the more A the more B
3example    ∼ duō ∼ hǎo
3hanzi    ∼多∼好
3translation    the more the better
4part-of-speech    ab.
4abbreviation    Yuènán [1016632556]
frequency    192.5 [XHPC:48(动)+29(副)+271(越...越...)]

Mode Numbers

Bands that apply to the entire entry, such as pinyin, characters, serial-number, and frequency, do not have mode numbers.

(By the way, the number 2 in “pinyin   ²yuè” is a homophone number, meaning that this is the second most common word pronounced yuè, to distinguish it from ¹yuè 月 ‘moon’. It has nothing to do with mode or tone numbers.)

The first mode number in the example above is the digit 1 in “1part-of-speech v.” Mode numbers distinguish separate groups of bands within an entry. Each group of bands with the same number before it belongs to the same mode. This entry has four parts of speech. The bands that start with 1 all belong together and correspond to the first part of speech (v.); those that start with 2 all correspond to the second part of speech (n.); and so on.

A mode number is always a single digit. It is rare to need more than nine modes, but if necessary “ten” is represented by 0, and “eleven, twelve, thirteen,...” are represented by recycling 1, 2, 3, ... ; they do not go to double digits (10, 11, etc.), since two digits indicate submodes, and three digits sub-submodes, etc. Thus, the two mode numbers 21 in “21definition Viet (state in SE China)” mean that this is the first definition for the second part of speech; 2 is the mode and 1 is the sub-mode. If one of the definitions had two or more example sentences (example bands) to go with it, then there would be sub-submode numbers.

Long and Short Band Names

Most band names have a long form of the name and a short form. For example:

part-of-speech, ps (long form, short form)

The long form of the part-of-speech band name (given above on the left, before the comma), also has the short form ps.

The short form is easier to type, and may be enabled by switching on an Advanced Option.

The two forms are completely equivalent, and it makes no difference whether you use the long or short names when editing an entry. After the entry has been saved, when it is edited again, all bands will be displayed with long or short names according to the Short Band Names setting the Advanced Option.

The band notation examples given above all show the default display form, with Short Band Names turned off under Advanced Options in the Options menu. If that option is turned on, pinyin is replaced by py; characters by char; example by ex, etc.

Alphabetical List of Bands

Below is an alphabetical listing of all band names, including both their long and short forms.

abbreviation, ab — This follows the band part-of-speech ab.. It must be preceded by a part-of-speech band, or by another abbreviation band. It consists of pinyin transcription. It may have mode numbers. Example:

pinyin    ²ào
characters    澳
1part-of-speech    b.f.
1definition    sea inlet; bay (often used in place names)
2part-of-speech    ab.
21abbreviation    Àodàlìyà [1000104920]
22abbreviation    Àomén [1000109770]

automatic, auto — [Yīng-Hàn only] This band name occurs alone, with nothing more on the same line. It indicates that the parts of speech and definitions that follow on subsequent bands were derived by automatically turning the Chinese-English dictionary “inside-out” to produce Chinese definitions for the English headword (see section 9.6.3). When the entry has been carefully revised, the “auto” band should be deleted.

characters, char — [Cídiǎn only] Chinese character(s) for the headword, possibly interspersed with punctuation, numbers, and Latin letters. This should be the second band, immediately following the pinyin band. All full form characters that are different from the simple form characters should be at the end and enclosed in brackets, using hyphens as place holders for characters that are the same in simple and full form orthographies. Alternate characters should be preceded by slashes (/) immediately following the characters for which they may be substituted. Double slashes (//) precede alternate groups of characters. Examples:

pinyin    dǎbài*
characters    打败[-敗]
pinyin    shānhu
characters    扇忽/乎
pinyin    ¹dādā*
characters    哒哒//嗒嗒[噠噠//--]
pinyin    fènfènbùpíng
characters    愤愤不平//忿忿不平[憤憤--//----]

Compare the hanzi band, which is used for example sentences rather than for headwords.

capitalized, cap — This band name occurs alone, with nothing more on the same line. It indicates that, when used with the meanings that follow in subsequent bands, the headword may be capitalized. It is currently used only by old Yìng-Hàn entries from before Wenlin 4.0.

class — [Cídiǎn only] The "class" band is obsolete, but may still be found if you continue to use a Wenlin version 3 Cídiǎn. The notation class a indicates that the entry in which it occurs was chosen to appear in an abridged version of the dictionary. This implies that the term is relatively common or important. Wenlin 4 uses the grade band instead. Grades A through E correspond to the old "class a".

construction, cons — [Cídiǎn only] This follows the band part-of-speech cons.. See the example of ²yuè 越 above. The construction band may contain pinyin transcription and alphanumeric symbols, possibly including three dots (...) and slash (/). A tilde (~) stands for the headword. Multiple construction bands have mode numbers: construction, construction, etc. Consult the entry of 大 for another example.

date, da — Date(s). Usually the dates of birth and death of people. Example:

pinyin    Lǔ Xùn
characters    鲁迅[魯-]
date    1881-1936

definition, df — Definition (gloss) of headword. Multiple definitions are labeled 1df, 2df, etc.; the mode numbers are shown enclosed in circles when not in band format. • For Cídiǎn entries, definitions are in English. Different English expressions for the same meaning may be combined within a single df band, separated by semicolons. • For Yīng-Hàn entries, definition band values are in pinyin followed by simple form Chinese characters in [square brackets].

environment, en — Environment (linguistic). Includes subject areas and registers, perhaps more than one, for example, coll., topo., math., topo./derog. (Choose Abbreviations from the Help menu). Governs one or more of the following definition bands, as follows:

environment    med.
1definition    aaa
2definition    bbb

This will appear as 〈med.〉 ① aaa ② bbb.

1environment    med.
1definition    aaa
2definition    bbb

This will appear as ① 〈med.〉 aaa ② bbb.

See the example of ²yuè 越 above; for more environment band examples, see ³ào 奧 and lǎojǐ 老几.

example, ex — Examples of usage consisting of pinyin transcription (for Cídiǎn entries), or English (for Yīng-Hàn entries). The headword is replaced by a tilde (~). For Cídiǎn entries, the example band is in pinyin; compare the hanzi band, which is in characters. The example band is always followed by a translation band.

frequency, freq — [Cídiǎn only] Frequency statistic. Indicates the number of occurrences of the headword per million characters of sample text. See Appendix A.

grade, gr — Notations like grade A (displayed as {A} when not editing) indicates that the vocabulary item in whose entry it occurs is ranked highly in importance in an educational classification which categorizes vocabulary into grades {A}, {B}, {C}, and {D}. A fifth category, grade E indicates that the vocabulary item was chosen for inclusion in an abridged dictionary even though it was not in grades {A} through {D}.

h — (see hr)

hanzi, hz — Chinese characters for example sentences. In Cídiǎn entries, the order of bands is example (in pinyin), hanzi, translation (in English). In Yīng-Hàn entries, the order is example (in English), translation (in pinyin), hanzi. Note that the hanzi band is only used for example sentences. Compare the character band, which is used for headwords. Wenlin 4.0 uses only simple form characters in the hanzi band (unlike the character band). A future version is likely to include a notation to support a combination of simple and full form characters for example sentences.

hanzi-homograph, hh — [Cídiǎn only] This band is similar to the see-also band, but it specifically refers to another entry that is written with the same Chinese characters.

headword, hw — [Yīng-Hàn only] The headword. This is always the first band (top line) in the entry.

hh — (see hanzi-homograph)

hr, h — Horizontal rule. If present, this is the last band (except it may be followed by note and remark bands). Any text that occurs below this band is not in band format (except for note and remark bands), and may consist of unstructured notes and/or entries from Wenlin’s old Cídiǎn (version 1.0 -- marked “pre-ABC”). In non-band format, the hr band is displayed as a horizontal rule (line). In lists, however, the horizontal rule and any text below it are not displayed.

hw — (see headword)

hz — (see hanzi)

in — [Cídiǎn only] In a monosyllabic entry whose part of speech is b.f. (bound form) or char., the in band gives an example of a polysyllabic word that contains the given morpheme or character.

inflection, infl — [Yīng-Hàn only] Inflected forms of English words. Example:

headword    horses
serial-number    2003190676
inflection    pl. of (horse) [2000668364]

In the above example, pl. stands for plural, and 2000668364 is the serial-number band from the entry for horse.

ipa — [Yīng-Hàn only] International Phonetic Alphabet for English pronunciation (as spoken in California). Normally the ipa band follows the headword band. For explanation of the phonetic symbols, choose ABC Dictionary Help from the Help menu and see the Guide to English Pronunciation.

measure-word, mw — [Cídiǎn only] Measure word (or classifier, 量词 liàngcí). This indicates one or more measure word(s) that can be used with the noun that is being defined. If there are more than one, they are separated by slashes.

note — Any kind of note that that does not belong in one of the other defined band types. Currently (in Wenlin 4.0) the note' band is only used following the hr band in Cídiǎn entries, but it can also be used in Yīng-Hàn entries and it does not need to follow the hr band.

old — [Yīng-Hàn only] Indicates that the content following on the same line is from the old Wenlin dictionary (version 1.0), and has not been formatted into separate bands. See section 9.6.3. When the entry has been revised into separate bands, the old band should be deleted.

part-of-speech, ps — Part of speech. For example, n., part., suffix., cons., ab. and so forth (choose Abbreviations from the Help menu). May have mode number for different parts of speech. The part-of-speech band may also have slant lines: v./n. (meaning “verb or noun”).

pinyin, py — [Cídiǎn only] Pinyin transcription of headword. Must be the first (top) band, at the very beginning of the Cídiǎn entry. The transcription is possibly preceded by a homophone number, and possibly followed by an asterisk (meaning that the headword is more common than any of its homophones disregarding tone). May include space within transcription.

ps — (see part-of-speech)

ps-extension, psx — Extension of part of speech. May have mode number (1psx, 2psx, ...) for different extensions. For example,

pinyin    a*
characters    啊
part-of-speech    m.p.
ps-extension    used as phrase suffix
1ps-extension    in enumeration
1example    Qián ∼, shū ∼, biǎo ∼, wǒ dōu diū le.
1hanzi    钱∼, 书∼, 表∼, 我都丢了。
1translation    Money, books, watch, I lost everything.
2ps-extension    in direct address and exclamation
2example    Lǎo Wáng ∼, zhè kě bùxíng ∼!
2hanzi    老王∼, 这可不行∼!
2translation    Wang, this won't do!

py — (see pinyin)

reference, ref — Reference. Generally a cryptic code of interest to the dictionary compilers. In some cases this gives an earlier serial number for the same entry.

remark, rem — Contains remarks or comments that are only intended to be seen in band format, when the entry is being edited. Suitable for explaining changes made, possibly including the date and the name of the person who makes the changes. Can be on any line except the top line (which is reserved for the headword). When the remark refers to a particular band, it may conveniently follow the band that it refers to. A rem band can also be used to effectively “remove” or hide a band without actually deleting it, simply by preceding the band name with rem.

see — Should contain the headword of another entry, possibly preceded by a raised homophone number.

see-also, seealso — Should contain the headword of another entry, possibly preceded by a raised homophone number.

seep, see-p — [Cídiǎn only] The “p” stands for “parentheses”. A seep band is treated the same as a “see” band, but it only occurs in entries that were automatically created from original ABC Dictionary entries whose headwords contained parentheses. For example, the original ABC includes headwords such as āicī(r), which stands for both āicī and āicīr. Due to inability to implement such entries in Wenlin’s database structure, they were split into separate entries such that the longer headword’s entry says “See ...”, pointing to the shorter headword’s entry. The band name seep is used instead of “see” in anticipation of possibly re-integrating these entries, or modifying the links between them, in the future.

serial-number, ser — Serial number. If you create a new entry, a unique random serial number will be generated automatically, starting with the letter “R” (for “Random”). You might want to change it to a unique serial number starting with your own initials, or some other meaningful code. A serial number can contain up to twenty letters or digits. Upper- and lowercase letters are treated as equivalent. Punctuation marks and other non-alphanumeric symbols are reserved and should not be used. The List menu has a command for listing words by serial number (Chapter 6).

spanish, span — [Yīng-Hàn only] Spanish definition(s) for the English headword. If present, should come after all Chinese definitions.

subentry, sub — [Yīng-Hàn only] Subentry. Example:

headword    finalize
serial-number    2000506888
part-of-speech    v.t.
definition    quèdìng [确定]; zuìhòu juédìng [最后决定]
subentry    finalization [2001947295]

In the above example, finalization is given as a subentry of finalize. Note the usage of the serial number in [square brackets]. Compare the example below for subentry-of.

subentry-of, subof — [Yīng-Hàn only] The subentry-of band means that the current entry is a subentry of the entry indicated. Example:

headword    finalization
ipa    ˌfaɪnəlɪˈzeɪʃən
serial-number    2001947295
part-of-speech    n.u.
subentry-of    finalize [2000506888]

translation, tr — Translation of example. Always preceded by an example band. If the example is in Chinese, then the translation is in English; and vice-versa. If the translation is in Chinese, then the translation band is in pinyin and is followed by a hanzi band.

Note: Wenlin doesn't allow for the creation of new band types. Future editions may provide that kind of flexibility. In the meantime, you can use the remark band to add information that will only be displayed while editing is enabled, or you can use the hr band to add information that will be displayed below a horizontal rule.

The @ Symbol

A band may have a short note following the band name, with the symbol @ separating the band name from the band note. The note cannot contain any spaces. For example,

example@JDF    Tā shòudào quán xiào de ∼.

Here the band name is example, and the band note is JDF (the initials of editor John DeFrancis). These notes have been used by editors to indicate where they have made changes, or to indicate references that have been consulted. The notes are not displayed except when editing is enabled. Compare the remark band described below, which enables insertion of longer notes.

The symbol @ is also used for another purpose: abridgment, described in the following section.

Abridgment Notation

This extension to band notation enables a single dictionary master file to store both an abridged and an unabridged version of a dictionary. While the grade band can be used to specify whether an entry as a whole is to be included in an abridged edition (only entries with grade A through grade E were included in the first abridged edition of ABC), this set of notations is for the abridgment of portions of entries.

(1) If the band content contains @@, everything following @@ is used only in unabridged editions.

df cancer@@; carcinoma

(2) If the band content contains @{...}, everything within the braces is used only in unabridged editions.

char 安分@{/份}守己
char 奥@{/澳}地利[奧@{/-}--]
4df family nurse; baby-sitter; nursery@{/crèche} attendant

(3) If the band content contains @a@ then the band is used only in abridged editions.

df @a@tall building; mansion
df @@multi-storied building; mansion

Note that the abridgment notation always involves the symbol @ in the content of a band. If the name of a band is followed by @ it introduces a brief note as explained in the preceding section.


和平 hépíng ‘peace’

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