Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Linguistics

Typological tools for field linguistics


Syntactic Structures of the World's Languages (SSWL)

SSWL is a searchable database that allows users to discover which properties (morphological, syntactic, and semantic) characterize a language, as well as how these properties relate across languages. This system is designed to be free to the public and open-ended. Anyone can use the database to perform queries. The help materials for the database include guidelines for coding data from the perspective of the language expert and from that of the typologist. You will find Guidelines for Language Experts and Guidelines for Property Authors.

Developed by

Creators: Chris Collins and Richard Kayne
Architect: Dennis Shasha
Project Coordinator: Chris Collins
Language Coordinator: Ken Hiraiwa
Back-End: Sangeeta Vishwanath, Hiral Rajani and Jillian Kozyra
Front-End: Jessica Chen
Usability Testing: Norman King