: Austronesian : Crows : Bantu :
"The poets made all the words, and therefore language is the archives of history" -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays: "The Poet".

Kia Ora!

Random Word: kayuʔ ("stick/wood" in Kayan (Uma Juman))

Welcome to the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database.

This database contains 294,272 lexical items from 1,528 languages spoken throughout the Pacific region. Most of these languages belong to the Austronesian language family, which is the largest family in the world containing around 1,000 and 1,200 languages.

Each language in our database has around 210 words associated with it. These words correspond to basic items of vocabulary, such as simple verbs like 'to walk', or 'to fly', the names of body parts like hand or mouth, colors like red, numbers (1, 2, 3, 4) and kinship terms such as Mother, Father and Person. The full list is here.

Warning: Please do not cite or publish anything using this database without the authors' permission.

We would welcome assistance from professional linguists to correct any mistakes, improve the cognacy judgments and to add further languages.

We only have between 127.3% and 152.8% of all of the Austronesian languages represented in this database, and would love to expand this number. If you have data for an Austronesian, Trans New Guinea / Papaun / Indo-Pacific or Australian language or dialect that are not here, please help us out.

To cite this database, please reference the following paper. You should also include the date that you obtained the data, as we are constantly improving and correcting the information contained here.

Greenhill, S.J., Blust. R, & Gray, R.D. (2008). The Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database: From Bioinformatics to Lexomics. Evolutionary Bioinformatics, 4:271-283.

The commercial use of these data is forbidden unless under the express permission of the authors.

Contact us by email with any queries, comments or suggestions: Simon Greenhill

Latest News

Added Pwapwâ - mBoyen from K.J. Hollyman, U of Auckland, Swadesh Survey. Thanks to Mary Walworth

Added Bwatoo (New Caledonia) is nowadays spoken on the west coast and north of the Grande Terre, in the villages of Népou and Oundjo. from RIVIERRE Jean-Claude, EHRHART Sabine, DIELA Raymond, 2006, Le bwatoo et les dialectes de la région de Koné (Nouvelle-Calédonie), Peeters : Paris-Louvain-Dudley, 501 p.. Thanks to David PIEKUT (EPHE/LACITO-CNRS)

Added Proto Malagasy from Sander Adelaar. Thanks to id.

Added Wolowa dialect of Kumbewaha [xks] from Mead, David. 2017.

Added Wasambua dialect of Cia-Cia [cia] from Mead, David

more news...