New Paper on Partial Colexifications

Today, a new paper was published, presenting a new method on the inference of partial colexifications from multilingual wordlists (DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1156540). This is the first study to propose explicit methods to infer partial (as opposed to "full") colexifications from multilingual wordlists.

The past years have seen a drastic rise in studies devoted to the investigation of colexification patterns in individual languages families in particular and the languages of the world in specific. Specifically computational studies have profited from the fact that colexification as a scientific construct is easy to operationalize, enabling scholars to infer colexification patterns for large collections of cross-linguistic data. Studies devoted to partial colexifications—colexification patterns that do not involve entire words, but rather various parts of words—, however, have been rarely conducted so far. This is not surprising, since partial colexifications are less easy to deal with in computational approaches and may easily suffer from all kinds of noise resulting from false positive matches. In order to address this problem, this study proposes new approaches to the handling of partial colexifications by (1) proposing new models with which partial colexification patterns can be represented, (2) developing new efficient methods and workflows which help to infer various types of partial colexification patterns from multilingual wordlists, and (3) illustrating how inferred patterns of partial colexifications can be computationally analyzed and interactively visualized.