P-base is a database of several thousand sound patterns in 500+ languages, which I collected for my dissertation. There is a downloadable version available, and a browser-based version under construction.

P-base 1

The original Python/Tk version can be downloaded here.

P-base 1.92 for Windows (also runs in Linux and Mac OS under Wine)

P-base 1.93 binary for Linux (64-bit)

To run the program, unzip/extract and click on "pbase1.92.exe" in the pbase1.92 folder (Windows) or type "./pbase1.93" (Linux).

P-base 3

Segment inventories can be searched on-line, but searching and browsing sound patterns will require downloading the original Python/Tk application until my RAs and I finish converting the sound pattern entries to the new format. The new SQL-based P-base interface was developed with Anthony Brohan from Queen's University. The P-base database can be cited as Mielke, Jeff (2008) The Emergence of Distinctive Features. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Visualize phoneme frequencies

These are IPA charts in which area represents the crosslinguistic frequency of IPA symbols, according to the segment inventories in P-base. The figures were created using the Cart program, which is used to make density-equalizing maps like in The Atlas of the Real World. The density-equalization algorithm is described in Diffusion-based method for producing density equalizing maps, Michael T. Gastner and M. E. J. Newman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 7499-7504 (2004). For these figures, I made IPA charts with density information based on the frequency of each symbol in phoneme inventories in P-base and used Cart to warp the grid lines to make area reflect frequency, and then plotted them in R.

Consonants Vowels
Vowels by length and nasality
Consonants by labialization and palatalization
Consonants by laryngeal parameters
Languages with particular segments

Send comments to jmielke@uOttawa.ca.

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Last updated: 2007.11.16