Created 28 October 1998
Modified 22 May 2003

Lexicostatistical Wordlists

The original 100-word and 200-word lexicostatistical lists were published by:
Swadesh, Morris. 1952. Lexicostatistic dating of prehistoric ethnic contacts. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 96,152-63
A short history of the development of such lists is given on pp.5-6 of
Hymes, Dell. 1960. Lexicostatistics so far. Current Anthropology 1.1.
The 200-word list as used by Dyen for Austronesian and Indo-European, with observed replacements rates, was published as:
Kruskal, J. B., I. Dyen & P. Black. 1973. Some results from the vocabulary method of reconstructing language trees. Pages 30-55, in I. Dyen (Ed.), Lexicostatistics in genetic linguistics. The Hague: Mouton.
The adaptation to Australia is argued in:
O'Grady, G.N. 1960. In 'More on lexicostatistics'. Current Anthropology 1.4(July),338-339.
A general bibliography of published Swadesh lists has been compiled by Natalia.Slaska.

Appendix to Alpher & Nash (1999:53-56)

The first 100 words constitute the list of O'Grady and Klokeid (1969:303-7); the next 20 are the words in Hale's (1961) list that are not also in O'Grady and Klokeid's; the next 25 are words in Black's (nd a.) list that are not in either of the above; the last 6 words (relevant for the most part in the monsoon tropics of Australia) are the authors' additions. "H" cross-references to Hale's numbering for the same word; "B" does the same for Black's. The list follows, in two forms:
  1. the list in numerical order (by reference number)
  2. the list in alphabetical order of the English gloss, so that the reference number for a particular gloss can be easily found
(Note with regard to certain items: (i) for 'stomach' see 'belly'; (ii) 'to get, pick up' (item 34 in the O'Grady-Klokeid list) and 'to take' (item 106, Hale's item 39, Black's 212) are listed as separate items here despite the fact that they appear to work as near-synonyms in the elicitation of words in Aboriginal languages.) 

NUMERICAL ORDER

No.     Gloss

1.      armpit (H11, B70)
2.      ashes (H64, B109)
3.      belly (H13, B47)
4.      big (H85, B138)
5.      bite (H44, B196)
6.      black (H31, B135)
7.      blood (H21, B78)
8.      bone (H23)
9.      breast (B43)
10.     to burn (intr; H65, B108)
11.     by-and-by (H80, B235)
12.     chest (B42)
13.     to climb (H38, B177)
14.     to cry (H47, B191)
15.     to cut (H45, B204)
16.     dog (H69, B88)
17.     down, below (H78, B231)
18.     ear (H6, B30)
19.     east (H73, B225)
20.     to eat (H27, B197)
21.     egg (H68, B86)
22.     elbow (H15, B68)
23.     excrement (B52)
24.     eye (H4, B27)
25.     to fall (H37, B178)
26.     far (H87, B228)
27.     fat, grease (H22, B79)
28.     fingernail (B63)
29.     fire (H62, B107)
30.     fly (N; B98)
31.     vegetable food (H72, B106)
32.     foot (H20, B62)
33.     forehead (H2, B26)
34.     to get, pick up
35.     to give (H42, B215)
36.     to go (H35, B172)
37.     ground (H55, B126)
38.     hand (H16, B65)
39.     head (H1, B24)
40.     head hair (H25, B25)
41.     hear (H30, B195)
42.     heart (B44)
43.     to hit (with hand; H43, B199)
44.     hungry (H26, B161)
45.     I (H96, B239)
46.     knee (H18, B59)
47.     leaf (H71, B101)
48.     to leave it (H40, B216)
49.     liver (H12, B49)
50.     long (H89, B140)
51.     to be lying down (B187)
52.     many (H84, B133)
53.     meat, animal (H66, B84)
54.     moon (H57, B122)
55.     mouth (H7, B32)
56.     name (B16)
57.     nape (H3, B38)
58.     north (H75, B223)
59.     nose (H5, B28)
60.     now, today (B234)
61.     old man (B4)
62.     one (H81, B130)
63.     person, Aborigine (H51, B1)
64.     rib (B46)
65.     rotten (B153)
66.     to see (H29, B195)
67.     short (H90, B141)
68.     to sit (H34, B185)
69.     skin (H24, B71)
70.     sky (B119)
71.     small (H86, B139)
72.     to smell it (B195)
73.     smoke (H63, B111)
74.     snake (B96)
75.     south (H76, B224)
76.     to speak (H32, B189)
77.     spear (N; B22)
78.     spit (N; B35)
79.     to be standing (H33, B186)
80.     star (H58, B121)
81.     stone (H54, B127)
82.     sun (H56, B123)
83.     tail (H67, B85)
84.     thigh (H17, B58)
85.     this (H92, B227)
86.     throat (B39)
87.     tongue (H9, B34)
88.     tooth (H8, B33)
89.     tree (H70, B100)
90.     two (H82, B131)
91.     up (H77, B230)
92.     urine (B51)
93.     water (H60, B112)
94.     west (H74, B226)
95.     what? (H93, B249)
96.     where? (H95, B251)
97.     who? (H94, B250)
98.     wind (H59, B120)
99.     woman (H52, B2)
100.    you (sg.) (H97, B240)
101.    shoulder (H10, B40)
102.    upper arm (H14, B69)
103.    shin (H19, B60)
104.    to die (H28, B198)
105.    to run (H36, B174)
106.    to take (H39, B212)
107.    to throw (H41, B217)
108.    to spear (H46, B201)
109.    to laugh (H48, B192)
110.    good (H49, B169)
111.    bad (H50, B170)
112.    to dig (H53, B202)
113.    creek (H61)
114.    tomorrow (H79, B238)
115.    three (H83, B132)
116.    near (H88, B229)
117.    hard (H91, B144)
118.    he (H98, B241)
119.    we two inclusive (H99, B242)
120.    you two (H100, B243)
121.    language (B17)
122.    dream (N; B18)
123.    boomerang (B19)
124.    shield (B20)
125.    spearthrower (B21)
126.    axe (B23)
127.    chin (B37)
128.    hip (B57)
129.    wing feather (B87)
130.    possum (B90)
131.    pelican (B93)
132.    fish (B97)
133.    mosquito (B99)
134.    grass (B105)
135.    mud (B114)
136.    cloud (B119)
137.    shade (B125)
138.    sand (B128)
139.    hole (B129)
140.    heavy (B144)
141.    light (B145)
142.    soft (B145)
143.    dry (N, Adj; B158)
144.    sickness (B82)
145.    rain (B112)
146.    yamstick
147.    string
148.    yam
149.    goanna
150.    pandanus
151.    mangrove (Avicennia sp.)

ALPHABETICAL ORDER

No.     Gloss
1.      armpit (H11, B70)
2.      ashes (H64, B109)
126.    axe (B23)
111.    bad (H50, B170)
3.      belly (H13, B47)
4.      big (H85, B138)
5.      bite (H44, B196)
6.      black (H31, B135)
7.      blood (H21, B78)
8.      bone (H23)
123.    boomerang (B19)
9.      breast (B43)
11.     by-and-by (H80, B235)
12.     chest (B42)
127.    chin (B37)
136.    cloud (B119)
113.    creek (H61)
16.     dog (H69, B88)
17.     down, below (H78, B231)
122.    dream (N; B18)
143.    dry (N, Adj; B158)
18.     ear (H6, B30)
19.     east (H73, B225)
21.     egg (H68, B86)
22.     elbow (H15, B68)
23.     excrement (B52)
24.     eye (H4, B27)
26.     far (H87, B228)
27.     fat, grease (H22, B79)
28.     fingernail (B63)
29.     fire (H62, B107)
132.    fish (B97)
30.     fly (N; B98)
32.     foot (H20, B62)
33.     forehead (H2, B26)
149.    goanna
110.    good (H49, B169)
134.    grass (B105)
37.     ground (H55, B126)
38.     hand (H16, B65)
117.    hard (H91, B144)
118.    he (H98, B241)
39.     head (H1, B24)
40.     head hair (H25, B25)
41.     hear (H30, B195)
42.     heart (B44)
140.    heavy (B144)
128.    hip (B57)
139.    hole (B129)
44.     hungry (H26, B161)
45.     I (H96, B239)
46.     knee (H18, B59)
121.    language (B17)
47.     leaf (H71, B101)
141.    light (B145)
49.     liver (H12, B49)
50.     long (H89, B140)
151.    mangrove (Avicennia sp.)
52.     many (H84, B133)
53.     meat, animal (H66, B84)
54.     moon (H57, B122)
133.    mosquito (B99)
55.     mouth (H7, B32)
135.    mud (B114)
56.     name (B16)
57.     nape (H3, B38)
116.    near (H88, B229)
58.     north (H75, B223)
59.     nose (H5, B28)
60.     now, today (B234)
61.     old man (B4)
62.     one (H81, B130)
150.    pandanus
131.    pelican (B93)
63.     person, Aborigine (H51, B1)
130.    possum (B90)
145.    rain (B112)
64.     rib (B46)
65.     rotten (B153)
138.    sand (B128)
137.    shade (B125)
124.    shield (B20)
103.    shin (H19, B60)
67.     short (H90, B141)
101.    shoulder (H10, B40)
144.    sickness (B82)
69.     skin (H24, B71)
70.     sky (B119)
71.     small (H86, B139)
73.     smoke (H63, B111)
74.     snake (B96)
142.    soft (B145)
75.     south (H76, B224)
77.     spear (N; B22)
125.    spearthrower (B21)
78.     spit (N; B35)
80.     star (H58, B121)
81.     stone (H54, B127)
147.    string
82.     sun (H56, B123)
83.     tail (H67, B85)
84.     thigh (H17, B58)
85.     this (H92, B227)
115.    three (H83, B132)
86.     throat (B39)
51.     to be lying down (B187)
79.     to be standing (H33, B186)
10.     to burn (intr; H65, B108)
13.     to climb (H38, B177)
14.     to cry (H47, B191)
15.     to cut (H45, B204)
104.    to die (H28, B198)
112.    to dig (H53, B202)
20.     to eat (H27, B197)
25.     to fall (H37, B178)
34.     to get, pick up
35.     to give (H42, B215)
36.     to go (H35, B172)
43.     to hit (with hand; H43, B199)
109.    to laugh (H48, B192)
48.     to leave it (H40, B216)
105.    to run (H36, B174)
66.     to see (H29, B195)
68.     to sit (H34, B185)
72.     to smell it (B195)
76.     to speak (H32, B189)
108.    to spear (H46, B201)
106.    to take (H39, B212)
107.    to throw (H41, B217)
114.    tomorrow (H79, B238)
87.     tongue (H9, B34)
88.     tooth (H8, B33)
89.     tree (H70, B100)
90.     two (H82, B131)
91.     up (H77, B230)
102.    upper arm (H14, B69)
92.     urine (B51)
31.     vegetable food (H72, B106)
93.     water (H60, B112)
119.    we two inclusive (H99, B242)
94.     west (H74, B226)
95.     what? (H93, B249)
96.     where? (H95, B251)
97.     who? (H94, B250)
98.     wind (H59, B120)
129.    wing feather (B87)
99.     woman (H52, B2)
148.    yam
146.    yamstick
100.    you (sg.) (H97, B240)
120.    you two (H100, B243)
Australian languages page
Alpher & Nash 1999 page

© 1998 Barry Alpher

 URL: http://www.anu.edu.au/linguistics/nash/aust/wl.html