The Institute of Slovenian Language was established in 1945 for the purpose of compiling linguistic materials and using them for the creation of basic Slovenian language resources: a dictionary of orthography and pronunciation; a dictionary of standard Slovenian; descriptive and historical studies in linguistics; an historical-onomastic dictionary; an historical-topographical dictionary; a linguistic atlas; monographs on texts in various dialects; and phonogrammic archives of dialects. The Institute has been re-organised several times. Since the establishment of ZRC SAZU in 1982, it has included the sections for lexicological, etymological-onomastic, dialectological and terminological dictionaries. In 1986 the Institute was named after its first head, Academician Dr Fran Ramovš.

The following major works have been issued through the Institute: Slovenska slovnica (Slovenian Grammar, 1947, 1956); Anton Bajec's Besedotvorje slovenskega jezika 1-4 (Word Formation in Slovenian, 1-4, 1950-1959); Slovenski pravopis (Slovenian Orthography, 1950, 1962); France Bezlaj's Slovenska vodna imena 1-2 (Names of Waterways in Slovenia, 1-2, 1956-1961); Jakob Rigler's Južnonotranjski govori (Dialects of the Southern Notranjska Region, 1963); Ivan Tominec's Črnovrški dialekt (Dialect of Črni Vrh, 1964); Začetki slovenskega knjižnega jezika (Beginnings of Standard Slovenian, 1968); Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika 1-5 (Dictionary of Standard Slovenian, 1-5, 1970-1991); Ramovševi zbrani spisi I (Collected Papers of Fran Ramovš, I, 1971); Začasni slovar slovenskih priimkov (Provisional Dictionary of Slovenian Surnames, 1974); Etimološki slovar 1-3 (Etymological Dictionary of Slovenian, 1-3, 1976-1995); Jože Stabej's Megiser Thesaurus polyglottus (1977); Splošni tehniški slovar 1-2 (General Technical Dictionary - 2nd edition, 1-2, 1978-1981); Fonološki opisi (Phonological Descriptions, 1981); Veterinarski terminološki slovar 1-4 (Dictionary of Veterinary Terminology, 1-4, 1982-1996); Glasbeni terminološki slovar (Dictionary of Musical Terminology, 1983); Terminološki slovar likovne umetnosti (Dictionary of Fine Arts Terminology, 1983); Veterinarski anatomski slovar (Dictionary of Veterinary Anatomy, 1985); Poskusni snopič slovarja stare knjižne prekmurščine (Experimental Volume of the Dictionary of the Old Standard Language of the Prekmurje Region, 1988); Zbornik razprav iz slovanskega jezikoslovja (Collection of Studies in Slavonic Linguistics, 1989); Slovenski pravopis - Pravila (Slovenian Orthography - Rules, 1990); Meteorološki terminološki slovar (Dictionary of Meteorological Terminology, 1990); Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika (Dictionary of Standard Slovenian, 1994, single volume); Tine Logar’s  Dialektološke in jezikovnozgodovinske razprave (Dialectological and Historical Linguistic Studies); Marko Snoj’s Slovenski etimološki slovar (Slovenian Etymological Dictionary, 1997); Pravni terminološki slovar: do 1991, gradivo (A Dictionary of Legal Terminology: Materials Collected By 1999);.Jakob Rigler’s Zbrani spisi 1. Jezikovnozgodovinske in dialektološke razprave (Collected Papers 1. Historical Linguistic and Dialectological Studies); Slovenski pravopis 2001 (Slovenian Orthography 2001); Planinski terminološki slovar. Slovensko-angleško-nemško-francosko-italijanski slovar planinskega, alpinističnega, plezalskega izrazja.(A Dictionary of Mountaineering Terminology. A Slovenian-English-German-French-Italian Dictionary of Mountaineering, Alpinist and Climbing Terms), France Bezlaj's Zbrani jezikoslovni spisi I., II.(Collected Linguistic Papers I, II). There are also two periodicals issued by the Institute - Slovenski jezik/Slovene Linguistic Studies and Jezikoslovni zapiski (Linguistic Notes).

The Institute's basic research into the Slovenian language both past and present and the extensive compilation of materials, which are unique in, are important for the development of linguistics here and at an international level. Research results are also useful in various professions.

Involvement in international projects:

  • General Slavonic Linguistic Atlas (OLA)
  • European Linguistic Atlas (ALE)
  • Trans-European Language Resources Infrastructure (TELRI II)
  • International Federation of Terminological Centres and banks (IFTB)
  • Enciklopedija slovenske onomastike (Encyclopaedia of Slovenian Onomastics - EOS)