CLICS online database of colexifications

Thomas Mayer thomas.mayer at UNI-MARBURG.DE
Thu Jun 26 13:48:59 UTC 2014

We are proud to announce the release of CLICS (, 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
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 ( or what other concepts are linked to a
given concept ( Second, users can browse
through the concept communities that we extracted from the overall network
of colexifications ( 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"

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

Thomas Mayer
Research Unit "Quantitative Language Comparison"
Forschungszentrum Deutscher Sprachatlas
Philipps-Universität Marburg

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