WALS is online! (http://wals.info)

Martin Haspelmath haspelmath at EVA.MPG.DE
Mon Apr 21 09:28:08 UTC 2008

Through a joint effort of the Max Planck Digital Library and the 
Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary 
Anthropology, all the data and analytical texts from The World Atlas of 
Language Structures are now freely available online ("WALS Online"), at 
http://wals.info. The materials are published under a Creative Commons 
License, guaranteeing open access for users and inviting scientists to 
use them for their work.

The site shows data on over 2500 languages, for which more than 6500 
references have been used. Searching and browsing is possible by 
structural feature, by language name or language family, by reference 
and by author. The analytical texts contain links to all the references 
and all the languages. The maps can be shown at any zoom level, and the 
map symbols can be displayed in various shapes and colours. A wide range 
of export options is available.

As in the book version from 2005, all languages are equal in WALS 
Online: each language, regardless of number of speakers, is represented 
on the map by the same circular symbol. For linguists, small and 
endangered languages threatened with imminent extinction are fully as 
interesting as large national languages.

WALS Online provides information on a vast range of structural 
variables: number of consonants (from 6 to 122), presence of rare sounds 
like ö and ü, tone systems, gender categories, plural formation, number 
of cases, verbal future and past forms, imperatives, word order, 
passives, numerals, colour terms, writing systems, and more.

WALS Online: http://wals.info
MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology: http://www.eva.mpg.de/
Department of Linguistics: http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/
Max Planck Digital Library: http://www.mpdl.mpg.de

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