Welcome to Grambank

Grambank was constructed in an international collaboration between the Max Planck institutes in Leipzig and Nijmegen, the Australian National University, the University of Auckland, Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Turku, Kiel University, Uppsala University, SOAS, the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, and over a hundred scholars from around the world. Grambank is designed to be used to investigate the global distribution of features, language universals, functional dependencies, language prehistory and interactions between language, cognition, culture and environment. The Grambank database currently covers 2,467 language varieties, capturing a wide range of grammatical phenomena in 195 features, from word order to verbal tense, nominal plurals, and many other well-studied comparative linguistic variables. Grambank's coverage spans 215 different language families and 101 isolates from all inhabited continents. The aim is for Grambank to ultimately cover all languages for which a grammar or sketch grammar exists. Grambank is part of Glottobank, a research consortium that involves work on complementary databases of lexical data, paradigms, numerals and sound patterns in the world's languages. Grambank can be used in concert with other databases, such as those in Glottobank and D-PLACE, to deepen our understanding of our history and communicative capabilities.

How to cite Grambank

Please see instructions here: https://github.com/grambank/grambank/wiki/Citing-grambank

Data availability

The current release version of the Grambank data can be downloaded from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7740139

Grambank is a part of the Cross-Linguistic Linked Data-project (CLLD). As such, there will continuously be new versions released. As with all CLLD-databases, it is important that you note down what version you have used in any analysis of the dataset.


Grambank is a publication of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig. Additional funding was provided by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen and a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden grant (UOA1308) to Quentin Atkinson and Russell Gray, and an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence Grant (CE140100041) for the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. The data furnished by the Hunter-Gatherer Language Database was supported by National Science Foundation grant HSD-0902114 'Dynamics of Hunter Gatherer Language Change' PIs Claire Bowern, Patience Epps, Jane Hill, and Keith Hunley.


For detailed information on the background of the Grambank project, including description of the features, the coding design and procedures please consult the Grambank wiki.

Terms of use

The content of this web site is published under a Creative Commons Licence.