STEDT questionnaires: Wordlists for South-East and East Asian languages

Author : James Matisoff

Publication date : 1989

Original Questionnaire : node/7

Bibliographical references :

Matisoff, James. 1978. Variational Semantics in Tibeto-Burman: the "organic" approach to linguistic comparison. (Occasional Papers of the Wolfenden Society on Tibeto-Burman Linguistics, 6) Philadephia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues




Culturally appropriate wordlists for elicitation in the South-East and East Asian linguistic area.  The lists are grouped into semantic domains: animals, body parts, kinship terms, natural objects, and plants.

Within the context of the Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus project, the word lists were used for the collection of words in modern languages in order to facilitate reconstruction of the proto-language.

Protocol summary

Wordlists grouped into semantic domains and to be used for elicitation.

Development context

"STEDT is a long-term linguistics research project at the University of California at Berkeley. It is directed by Professor James A. MATISOFF of Berkeley's Linguistics Department. Our goal is the publication of an etymological dictionary of Proto-Sino-Tibetan (PST), the ancestor language of the large Sino-Tibetan language family. This family includes Chinese, Tibetan, Burmese, and over 200 other languages spoken in South and Southeast Asia." (from the STEDT website)

The questionnaires, adapted to the cultural context of the Sino-Tibetan area and covering the five major semantic domains of plants, natural objects, kinship and people terms, body parts, and animals, were used to collect lexical data from Sino-Tibetan languages in order to reconstruct the Proto-Sino-Tibetan reflexes.  The approach is described in the classic Variational Semantics in Tibeto-Burman: the "organic" approach to linguistic comparison (Matisoff, 1978) 

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