Sum: Parallel multilingual wordlists
|Submitter Email:||click here to access email|
About a month ago I posted an enquiry (Linguist 14.1083) about the availability of parallel word lists (as opposed to lists of cognates) in different languages. I got the impression from some of the responses that there are others out there who would appreciate as much information on this as possible, so I'm including here not just a summary of responses but also some sources of data that I found by other means.
Many thanks to everyone who responded. Here is a summary of the responses:
This turns out to be organised generally around cognates, so Yuri was kind enough to send a number of 100-word Swadesh lists which he has in files in .dbf format.
Second, an extremely useful set of references to printed works containing Swadesh lists for various languages. Many are from issues of IJAL from the 1950s and 60s. Space doesn't allow me to reproduce all the references here; I'd be happy to forward them to anyone who
To all these very useful suggestions, I would add the following resources: http://www.rosettaproject.org has a database of Swadesh lists for a wide variety of languages, but few of them are complete.
Dyen, Isidore, Joseph B Kruskal, and Paul Black (1992) An Indoeuropean Classification: A Lexicostatistical Experiment, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 82, part 5. Large data set (95 languages/dialects) available online at:
Also at www.wordgumbo.com is a collection of lists taken from various small online dictionaries - these are not identical lists, but many overlap to a worthwhile extent.
Jacques Guy's GLOTTO program comes with 200-word lists for 16 Indoeuropean languages. The meanings are not the Swadesh list, but mainly nouns taken from Bergman, Peter (1968) The Concise Dictionary of 26 Languages in Simultaneous Translation, Signet Books. For online
availability, see Guy's posting to the Linguist List, (Linguist 5.630).
1600-word lists for English, Italian, German, Dutch and the invented languages Esperanto, Novial and Tsolyani can be downloaded from
(Permission is requested by the website owner for use of these data in
200-word lists for 7 languages used in Kessler, B. (2001) The significance of word lists, Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information. are available as a well-annotated XML file from Brett Kessler's website:
Tryon, Darrel (1995) Comparative Austronesian Dictionary. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. is apparently a possible source of parallel word lists for Austronesian languages (I haven't yet seen a copy myself).
I've found many of these very useful; others should suit the research aims of other list-hunters.
Theoretical and Applied Linguistics,
University of Edinburgh
|Original Query:||Read original query|
Sums main page