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FYI: CLICS Online Database of Colexifications


Author: Thomas Mayer

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Typology
Lexicography
Cognitive Science

FYI Body: We are proud to announce the release of CLICS (http://clics.lingpy.org), an online database of synchronic lexical associations (colexifications) in 221 language varieties of the world (Version 1.0). We use the term colexification to refer to the situation when two or more concepts are expressed in a language by the same lexical item (e.g., Russian 'рука' colexifies the concepts ''hand'' and ''arm''), covering cases of polysemy, homonymy or semantic vagueness. CLICS provides an overview of such conceptual links (tendencies of meaning associations) across a large number of languages by listing all languages exhibiting a given colexification together with their genealogical and areal information. CLICS is designed to serve as a data source for work in lexical typology, diachronic semantics, and research in cognitive science.

The database can be accessed in two ways. First, users can query in which languages two given concepts are colexified (http://clics.lingpy.org/direct.php) or what other concepts are linked to a given concept (http://clics.lingpy.org/all.php). Second, users can browse through the concept communities that we extracted from the overall network of colexifications (http://clics.lingpy.org/browse.php). The communities are represented as force-directed graph visualizations featuring a number of interactive components that allow for the detection of areal and genealogical patterns in the database (see the example of ''hand'' and ''arm'' under http://clics.lingpy.org/browse.php?gloss=hand).

Johann-Mattis List, Thomas Mayer, Anselm Terhalle, Matthias Urban

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