The Global Lexicostatistical Database: Downloads











This page hosts various files that the GLD offers for free download, both for potential contributors and general users.

1. Technical Downloads


For general users and contributors alike:


FONT: The Starling Serif font is a necessary download if you make use of database versions in MS Excel format. The download is a .RAR archive that you need to unpack (using Winrar or any other easily available software), upon which the three font files (regular, bold, and italic) can be installed as standard Unicode fonts. Starling Serif contains close to 3,000 phonetic symbols (many of them – monolithic combinations of letters with diacri­tics, highly useful for print purposes) that cover almost entirely any transcriptional needs, and it is constantly updated.


SOFTWARE: The default format for all GLD databases, just as it is for the regular etymological databases hosted on the Tower of Babel site, is that of a database encoded in StarLing, a piece of linguistic software developed by the late Sergei Starostin and currently supported by Phil Krylov. To view and work with these databases in their «natural» environment, it is necessary to download and install StarLing. This can be done on any computer equipped with either MS Windows or a MS-Windows emulator (for Linux and Mac users).


Basic download: Star4win.exe, a self-unpacking archive that creates a folder for StarLing on your hard drive and installs the necessary files into it. It is only necessary to perform the complete installation procedure once, then run the program.


Updates: StarLing is regularly updated with new features, plugins, and general performance improvements. In order to get the latest updates, it is not necessary to do a clean «re-installation». All of the latest additions and improvements are available separately in the main executable file Star_hb.exe (watch for periodical updates on the general down­loads page). The file must be downloaded, placed in the same folder as star4win.exe (usually - c:\starsoft\bin\, unless you have specified a different path during the installation process), and then run instead of star4win.exe to browse and edit databases.


StarLing has a large integrated Help system, but it is slightly out of date (we plan to prepare a special tutorial in the near future), so, in case of questions, please contact us at for assistance.


For contributors only:


TEMPLATES: If you are a contributor for the GLD and wish to create a GLD-compatible Swadesh wordlist, you have two choices:


(I) Create the word­list within the StarLing system at once. This gives you the benefit of complete control over your data, as well as the advantage of being able to make use of StarLing's rich array of analytical procedures (searches, filters, comparisons, comparative-historical treatment, etc.). How­ever, it requires a working installation of StarLing and at least basic acquaintance with its structure.


Basic download: The StarLing database template is available as a .RAR archive here. It contains:

(a) the template database itself (3 files: tmp.dbf + tmp.var + tmp.inf);

(b) the text file template.txt with specific instructions on how to transform the template into the wordlist of your choice;

(c) a copy of a database for 6 North Khoisan languages with a proto-language field (nkh.dbf + nkh.var + nkh.inf) that can be used for illustrative purposes.


(II) Create the wordlist within a Unicode-based environment that can afterwards be converted into StarLing format. Currently, the least problematic of such environments is the table format in MS Word. The payoff is that installation and mastery of StarLing is not necessary (you will still need the Starling Serif font, though — see above). The drawback is that you will not be able to use StarLing for computer analysis of your data. It also places extra responsibility on the shoulders of the data converters. It is also HIGHLY uncomfor­table if you are compiling a comparative wordlist for a language group that has more than five or six languages.


Basic download: The MS Word template is available as a .RAR archive here. It contains:

(a) the template itself (template.doc) – a pre-made empty table and accompanying notes on how to fill it in;

(b) an example of a prepared table (nkh.doc) for 6 North Khoisan languages with a proto-language field, complete with database des­cription. (Warning: the table is fully viewable only in Draft mode of MS Word).


Note: The default language for all the annotations is English. However, since the GLD is an international project, with most of the principal par­ticipants located in Moscow, the annotations are also gradually duplicated in Russian. This is the responsibility of the GLD site administration and need not be a con­cern to contributors (unless someone is ready to prepare the wordlist in two languages at once).

2. Databases and trees




Excel Files: Download all the currently uploaded GLD files in Excel format in one compact archive.

PDF Files:  Download all the currently uploaded GLD files in PDF format in one compact archive.

[The option to download all currently uploaded GLD files in StarLing database format is available to contributors only.]


Trees (Experimental):


Click here to learn about the GLD's Experimental Tree-Building Procedures and download the results.

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     © 2011-2016 George Starostin (site design, data input coordination)
    © 2011-2016 Phil Krylov (programming, technical support)