Attributes are additional information about an entry. Each attribute type has its own a sub types, and optionally takes a name.

There are three types of attributes each serves different function:

feature: // to add an output feature to the entry.
cond: // to require an extra condition to be met for that entry.
generalize: // to enable matching of a variety of text snippets based on generalized forms (for example, pluralization).

All text snippets marked up by the generalized entry inherit the same set of attributes.

Attributes are written in this syntax:


Attributes can be used within columns or directly as a command.

Setting attributes by command

To use an attribute as a command, add a # symbol in front and put it at the beginning of a line in the Dictionary. Subsequent entries in the Dictionary will have that attribute.

For example:

#feature:gender male
#cond:context -corporate

This allows you to add the attribute globally to all entries forward until the end of the Dictionary.

Clearing attributes set by command

To clear a command attribute, use

#clear attribute

For example:

#clear cond:context

An an extended example (distributed with ETA as a demonstration Dictionary):

#wordlist Demo7-Clear
// setup attributes and columns to be cleared later
#feature:f1 "value1"
#feature:f2 "value2"
#cond:context word
#generalize:plural true
this is an example phrase
#cols text, feature:a
two, columns
// clear a single global feature
#clear feature:f1
// reset the columns to entry "text" only
#clear cols
back to one column // feature "f2" remains
// clear context condition
#clear cond:context
// clear plural form generation
#clear generalize:plural
// clear everything, except refname
#clear all
#feature:a A
#cols text, feature:b
two, columns
// when #wordlist is used, everything is cleared
#wordlist Demo7-Clear-implicit
back to one column // text column only, features "a" and "b" are gone

Conditional entries

Dictionaries allow two forms of conditional matching of word list entries:

  1. Typography (case)
  2. Context

Use the command:

#cond:case case_requirement
#cond:context context_requirement