LINGUIST List 21.551|
Wed Feb 03 2010
FYI: World Loanword Database Release
Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
World Loanword Database Release
Message 1: World Loanword Database Release
From: Martin Haspelmath <haspelmatheva.mpg.de>
Subject: World Loanword Database Release
E-mail this message to a friend
We are pleased to announce the World Loanword Database, a fully open-access
online resource, which has been released a few days ago:
The World Loanword Database contains detailed comparable information about
58,000 words from 41 languages, contributed by 41 (teams of) specialists,
and edited by Martin Haspelmath and Uri Tadmor from the Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig). The open-access online
version was programmed by Robert Forkel from the Max Planck Digital Library
The World Loanword Database answers questions such as:
-- How many languages have a borrowed word for ‘eye’?
(answer: 3 clear cases out of 41, http://wold.livingsources.org/meaning/4.21)
-- How many languages have a non-borrowed word for ‘police’?
(answer: 8 clear cases out of 41, http://wold.livingsources.org/meaning/23.33)
-- Which semantic areas of words are the most resistant to borrowing?
(answer: words expressing spatial relations, body parts, and sense
perception, see http://wold.livingsources.org/semanticfield/)
-- Which languages did English borrow words from, and how are they
(see the map on this page: http://wold.livingsources.org/language/13)
These data will allow us to distinguish better between lexical similarities
that are due to borrowing and similarities that are due to inheritance from
a common ancestor.
In conjunction with the online database, a book with three general chapters
and 41 chapters on particular languages was published by De Gruyter Mouton
One of the results of the project is an empirically based list of basic
vocabulary (the Leipzig-Jakarta list) which may complement the intuitively
based Swadesh list.
Martin Haspelmath & Uri Tadmor
(for the Loanword Typology project team)
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Typology
Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
Please report any bad links or misclassified data
LINGUIST Homepage | Read
LINGUIST | Contact us
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.