Empirical Approaches to Language Typology [EALT] 41
This book promotes the development of linguistic databases by describing a number of successful database projects, focusing especially on cross-linguistic and typological research. It has become increasingly clear that ready access to knowledge about cross-linguistic variation is of great value to many types of linguistic research. Such a systematic body of data is essential in order to gain a proper understanding of what is truly universal in language and what is determined by specific cultural settings. Moreover, it is increasingly needed as a tool to systematically evaluate contrasting theoretical claims. The book includes a chapter on general problems of using databases to handle language data and chapters on a number of individual projects.