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BY 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2019

The areal factor in lexical typology

Volker Gast and Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm


Our study aims to explore how much information about areal patterns of colexification we can gain from lexical databases such as CLICS and ASJP. We adopt a bottom-up (rather than hypothesis-driven) approach, identifying areal patterns in three steps: (i) determine spatial autocorrelations in the data, (ii) identify clusters as candidates for convergence areas and (iii) test the clusters resulting from the second step controlling for genealogical relatedness. Moreover, we identify a (genealogical) diversity index for each cluster. This approach yields promising results, which we regard as a proof of concept, but we also point out some drawbacks of the use of major lexical databases.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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