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Linguistic Typology

Ed. by Plank, Frans / Cysouw, Michael

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Using WALS and Jazyki mira

Vladimir N. Polyakov1 / Valery D. Solovyev2 / Søren Wichmann3 / Oleg Belyaev4

1Rossijskaja Akademija Nauk

2Kazanskij gosudarstvennyj universitet

3Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie

4Moskovskij gosudarstvennyj universitet im. M. V. Lomonosova

Correspondence address: Kafedra teoretičeskoj i prikladnoj lingvistiki, Filologičeskij fakul'tet, Moskovskij gosudarstvennyj universitet im. M. V. Lomonosova; GSP-2, Leninskie gory, 119992 GSP-2 Moskva, Russian Federation; e-mail:

Correspondence address: Institut jazykoznanija RAN, Bol'šoj Kislovskij pereulok, 1/12, 125009 Moskva, Russian Federation; e-mail:

Correspondence address: Kafedra teoretičeskoj kibernetiki, Fakul'tet vyčislitel'noj matematiki i kibernetiki, Kazanskij gosudarstvennyj universitet, ul. Kremlèvskaja, 18, 420008 Kazan', Russian Federation; e-mail:

Correspondence address: Department of Linguistics, Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany; e-mail:

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology. Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 137–167, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/LITY.2009.008, May 2009

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The article's primary concern is to address the usage of The world atlas of language structures through comparing it with another typological database of similar scope, Jazyki mira. Such a comparison is carried out based on a set of criteria. First, the scope of the databases is compared, as well as their differences and similarities in structure, in the number of errors, and in the existing user interfaces. Then calculations of typological similarity and temporal stability of language features based on the data provided by both databases are compared. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to the relative efficiency and usefulness of these databases for different aims of research or educational goals.

Keywords:: database structure; family trees; linguistic areas; linguistic atlas; time-stability

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