Grammatical and phonological domains

Author : Balthasar Bickel and Johanna Nichols

Publication date : 2005

Bibliographical references :

  • Bickel, Balthasar and Nichols, Johanna. 2005. "Grammatical Domains Questionnaire"
  • Bickel, Balthasar and Nichols, Johanna. 2005. "Phonological Domains Questionnaire".


  • Grammatical domains questionnaire :

"The purpose of this questionnaire is to gather data on the domains of morpho-syntactic rules and processes in order to create comparative records on words, affixes and particles in a cross-linguistic context." (Bickel &Nichols, 2005: 1).

  • Phonological domains questionnaire :

"The purpose of this questionnaire is to gather data on phonological patterns and constraints in forms of varying degrees of morphological complexity. In many languages there are prosodic constraints/rules that are not strictly defined by phonological domains, but that require attention to different morpho-syntactic domains (perhaps in somewhat idiosyncratic or very generalized ways). For this reason, the questionnaire is organized to gather information about processes that are sensitive primarily to phonologically defined domains, and also to gather information about those processes that include morphologically and syntactically complex domains." (Bickel &Nichols, 2005: 1)


Protocol summary

These two questionnaires go along with one another.

  • Grammatical domains questionnaire :

''Be aware of categorizing terminology used by authors. So for example, when an author identifies a morpheme as a "clitic" or "particle", "affix", etc., it is still important to get as much information about the position(s)/selectional restrictions, and degree of phonological coherence of that morpheme [...]. Note any interesting or complicated cases of allomorphy in as much detail as possible." (Bickel &Nichols, 2005: 1)

Examples given should be glossed following the Leipzig rules.

  • Phonological domains questionnaire :

This questionnaire is divided in 12 sections:
- The language profile
- Morpheme types
- Syllable
- Tone & Stress
- Other Non-concatenative Processes
- "Free" Grammatical Morphemes
- Polymorphemic Stem forms
- Compounds, Concatenations, Juxtapositions
- Reduplication
- Phrase/Sentence-level phenomena
- Other Special things to look for
- How to Use the Template in the Appendix

Development context

''These questionnaires were developed by the AUTOTYP project. AUTOTYP is a large-scale research program with goals in both quantitative and qualitative typology. In quantitative typology, it is interested in detecting and explaining geographical distributions of typological features and in producing statistical estimates of universal preferences as well as of genealogical inheritance and areal diffusion potentials. In qualitative typology, it aims at a systematic analysis of the kinds of variation found in various typological domains.'' (Typological tools for field linguistics website,

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