Semantic maps in Pama-Nyungan

One of the advantages of a large lexical database is the ability to test large-scale ideas about language behaviors. As a quick experiment this afternoon, I extracted all the colexification patterns from the database. These are all the words that are glossed by multiple distinct words within the same language.* 20 minutes to download the file, and about the same to manipulate it with the igraph package in R to produce some cluster visualisations.

Fruchterman-Reingold layout, colexification patterns appearing more than 50 times in Australian languages. (c) Claire Bowern, 2015

Fruchterman-Reingold layout, colexification patterns appearing more than 50 times in Australian languages. (c) Claire Bowern, 2015

*Of course, there are going to be issues with this, particularly in the lack of colexification evidence for some languages. The data are only as complete or as good as the dictionaries that went into the database in the first place.

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One response to “Semantic maps in Pama-Nyungan

  1. Wow! That’s really cool!

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