[Lingtyp] Making a cross-linguistic database of constructions

JOO, Ian [Student] ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk
Sun Jun 20 08:51:53 UTC 2021

Dear all,

I am thinking about making a cross-linguistic database consisting of the morphosyntactic structures of a set of common constructions across different languages.
Below is a set of constructions and their structures in Korean and Mandarin, as an example.
I have added numbers to multiple elements (N1, N2…) to label them consistently across different languages. (For example the N1 in Korean causative and the N1 in Mandarin causative both refer to the causer)
“A|B” means A or B. X refers to an element that is variable but required (for example V-X means that the verb needs some kind of suffix). The parentheses mean optional.
By compiling a database like this I aim to measure the distance between the morphosyntactic structures of different languages.
In case where a language has no corresponding construction, e. g. no passive construction, the slot would be left blank.
In case where a language has more than one structures for a construction, then I will insert more than one structures (hence the number column).
The database would include one example for each structure in interlinear gloss as well.
I would greatly appreciate your opinion on the feasibility of this plan, whether this can be something compiled in a meaningful sense.


From Hong Kong,



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