Steven Moran steven.moran at UZH.CH
Fri Sep 19 17:05:09 UTC 2014

(Apologies for cross-posting.)

We are pleased to announce the release of PHOIBLE Online, a repository of
cross-linguistic phonological inventory data:

The 2014 edition includes 2155 segment inventories that contain 2160
segment types found in 1672 distinct languages. These inventories have been
extracted from source documents and tertiary databases and compiled into a
single searchable convenience sample. The combined data set includes
additional genealogical and geographical information about each language
from the Glottolog (Hammarström et al 2014). A bibliographic record is
provided for each source document.

Two principles guide the development of PHOIBLE:

- Be faithful to the language description in the source document
- Encode all character data in a consistent representation in Unicode IPA

In addition to phoneme inventories, PHOIBLE includes distinctive feature
data for every phoneme in every language in the sample. The feature system
used was created by the PHOIBLE developers to be descriptively adequate
cross-linguistically; the system is loosely based on the feature system in
Hayes 2009 with some additions drawn from Moisik & Esling 2011.

For a detailed description of PHOIBLE, see Moran 2012a:

For a brief overview, see the 10-page dissertation abstract:

For examples of some of the research we are doing with PHOIBLE, see Cysouw
et al 2012, Moran 2012b, Moran et al 2012, McCloy et al 2013, and Moran &
Blasi forthcoming.


Cysouw, Michael, Dediu, Dan and Moran, Steven. 2012. Still No Evidence for
an Ancient Language Expansion From Africa. Science, 335, 657–b. Online:

Hammarström, Harald, Forkel, Robert, Haspelmath, Martin and Nordhoff,
Sebastian. Glottolog 2.3. Online:

Hayes, Bruce. 2009. Introductory Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell.

McCloy, Daniel R., Moran, Steven and Wright, Richard. 2013. Revisiting 'The
role of features in phonological inventories'. Paper presented at the CUNY
Conference on the Feature in Phonology and Phonetics, January 16-18. New
York, NY.

Moisik, Scott R. and Esling, John H. 2011. The 'Whole Larynx' Approach to
Laryngeal Features. In Proceedings of the International Congress of
Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS XVII), 1406-1409.

Moran, Steven. 2012a. Phonetics Information Base and Lexicon. PhD thesis,
University of Washington.

Moran, Steven. 2012b. Using Linked Data to Create a Typological Knowledge
Base. In Linked Data in Linguistics: Representing and Connecting Language
Data and Language Metadata, Christian Chiarcos, Sebastian Nordhoff and
Sebastian Hellmann (eds). Springer, Heidelberg.

Moran, Steven, McCloy, Daniel R. and Wright, Richard. 2012. Revisiting
Population Size vs. Phoneme Inventory Size. Language, 88(4): 877–893.

Moran, Steven and Blasi, Damián. Forthcoming. Cross-linguistic Comparison
of Complexity measures in Phonological Systems. In Frederick J. Newmeyer
and Laurel Preston (eds), Measuring Grammatical Complexity.
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