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)