What is WATP?

The World Atlas of Transitivity Pairs (WATP) is a geo-typological database of morphologically related transitivity pairs such as ak-u ‘to open (intransitive)’: ak-e-ru ‘to open (transitive)’ in Japanese, which participate in the causative alternation (doa-ga aita [The door opened] vs. Taro-ga doa-o aketa [Taro opened the door]). It consists of primary data from about 80 languages contributed by about 50 researchers, which can be downloaded for research purpose.

What does WATP do?

WATP offers visual representation of the geographical distribution of the formal relationship between the members of transitivity pairs from the two perspectives proposed in Haspelmath (1993), viz. (a) preferences of individual verb pairs for different expression types (‘map’ interface) and (b) preferences of individual languages for different expression types (‘chart’ interface). It also permits users to test the validity of the ‘iconic’ explanation pertaining to the direction of derivation between the members of transitivity pairs.

Read more

How to cite WATP

1. To cite the WATP as a whole: The World Atlas of Transitivity Pairs (2014). Tokyo: National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics. (Available online at: http://verbpairmap.ninjal.ac.jp).
 
2. To cite the data from individual language: Name of the contributor (2014). Transitivity pairs in LLLL. The World Atlas of Transitivity Pairs (2014). Tokyo: National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (Available online at: http://watp.ninjal.ac.jp). [Example: Pardeshi, Prashant (2014). Transitivity pairs in Marathi. The World Atlas of Transitivity Pairs (2014). Tokyo: National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (Available online at: http://watp.ninjal.ac.jp).]

The making of WATP

WATP is one of the research outcomes of NINJAL’s collaborative project entitled ‘Universals and Crosslinguistic Variations in the Semantic Structure of Predicates’ (PI: Prashant Pardeshi). The data included in this database comes from the following sources: (a) data provided by the members of NINJAL’s collaborative project, (b) data on the 21 languages in Haspelmath (1993) [to be added in the near future], and (c) data from Swedish, Maltese and Tsez provided by Bernard Comrie. Some languages show up in both (a) and (b). The data can be downloaded for research purpose. For data download click here. The database construction and web application development have been done by the Lago Institute of Language (LIL, Shiro Akasegawa).