FG815(a), Core FG, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 999077 ping2.li@polyu.edu.hk (852) 3400 8210

How to Use the Database

How to use the database

The Left Half

To access the contents of the database, select the checkboxes of the variables that you wish to appear in the output table. This step is necessary, as leaving all the boxes empty will result in an empty table. For that, the default setup for the form includes the 'Word' column already activated.

The Right Half

The right half of the interface is used for setting constraints on the variables that you have chosen in the left half. This will allow you to access only the words that possess these specific attributes. However, the right half is inherently invisible. The input fields for the specifications will only become visible upon clicking the corresponding checkbox.

Saving Your Data

The quickest way for you to save your data (if using a PC) is by pressing Ctrl+S (or File > Save Page As) to download the contents of the page. Before saving the data, be sure to remove the ".htm" extension from the file name and change the file type to "Text". This will save your data as a ".txt" file allowing you to open it in Notepad.

If this method does not work (i.e. you are using a Mac, 'S' key is broken, etc.), you can highlight the contents of the table, copy them, and paste them into a text file or a spreadsheet.

Because the data on the webpage are arranged in a table, when you save the data as a text file they will automatically be separated by one tab-space. If you then choose to import your text file into a spreadsheet, the data will neatly fit into the cells; thus the table layout is preserved. How efficient!


  • The 'Word' and 'PinYin' input textboxes can only search one character/word at a time.
  • The correct format for the 'PinYin' input textbox is the character name followed by its tone number (e.g. ai1, zheng4, etc).
  • However, to search for all phonologically similar characters regardless of their tone differences, simply leave the number out of the input (e.g. ai, zheng, etc).
  • Furthermore, to search for all characters of the same tone, just enter the tone number as the input.
  • If no characters match the parameters you have supplied, the table will be empty but the appropriate headers will still appear at the top of the table. Our research simply does not (yet) include characters with such attributes.