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Project leaders

  • Martin Haspelmath
  • Uri Tadmor

The World Loanword Database (WOLD)

The World Loanword Database provides vocabularies (mini-dictionaries of about 1000-2000 entries) of 41 languages from around the world, with comprehensive information about the loanword status of each word. It allows users to find loanwords, source words and donor languages in each of the 41 languages, but also makes it easy to compare loanwords across languages.

The World Loanword Database consists of vocabularies contributed by 41 different authors or author teams, each vocabulary was contributed by an expert on the language and its history. The database can be accessed by language, by meaning or by author.

The World Loanword Database is the result of a collaborative project coordinated by Uri Tadmor and Martin Haspelmath between 2004 and 2008, called the Loanword Typology Project (LWT). Most of the contributors took part in workshops at which the procedures for selecting and annotating words were discussed extensively.

The list of 1460 meanings on which the vocabularies are based is called the Loanword Typology meaning list, and it is in turn based on the list of the Intercontinental Dictionary Series.

An accompanying book has been published by De Gruyter Mouton ( Loanwords in the World's Languages: A Comparative Handbook, edited by Martin Haspelmath & Uri Tadmor, 2009).