Surrey Periphrasis Database

How to cite

Brown, Dunstan, Marina Chumakina, Greville G. Corbett & Harley Quilliam. 2010. Surrey Periphrasis Database. University of Surrey.

Access the database


Periphrasis is a widespread and significant phenomenon, and a valuable indicator of how a language functions. It reveals how the construction of meaning in language is apportioned between syntax and morphology. In a simple example from English, we have bright and brighter but intelligent and more intelligent.

The Surrey Periphrasis Database encodes information on periphrasis in 19 genetically diverse languages. Searches can be conducted by word class, language, language family, morphosyntactic features or auxiliary type. Detailed language reports are provided for further information on each of the languages in the database.


The database was created for the project 'Brighter, cleverer, but more intelligent: Understanding periphrasis', funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under grant number RES-062-23-0696. This support is gratefully acknowledged.



Creators: Brown, Dunstan; Chumakina, Marina; Corbett, Greville G.; Quilliam, Harley;

Title: Surrey Periphrasis Database

Publisher: University of Surrey

Year: 2010