Extending the List of Color, Emotion, and Human Body Part Concepts

In a recent blogpost (Tjuka 2021), I introduced a list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts. The list is the basis for a study on colexifications across three semantic domains. The first version of the list included 192 concepts. Of these concepts, 34 were from the emotion domain. We decided to add 28 additional emotion concepts to the list because this will allow us to further improve our analysis and compare our results with previous studies on emotion semantics. This blog post introduces the extended list.


One of the aims of our ongoing project is to advance the investigation of colexification networks. Thus, we include a comparison of three semantic domains – color, emotion, and human body parts – in our analysis. In the study by Jackson et al. (2019), 24 emotion concepts were compared across 2,500 languages. The colexification networks were based on the data in the Database of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications (CLICS, Rzymski et al. 2020) and showed that colexification in emotion terminology varies across language families. The 24 emotion concepts comprised adjectives, verbs, and nouns from Concepticon Version 2.2.0 (List et al. 2016, 2019). In contrast, the list by Tjuka (2021) only included noun concepts so the overlap with Jackson et al. (2019) was 7 concepts. To improve comparability and extend the coverage of emotion concepts across language families, we decided to add the remaining 17 emotion concepts from Jackson et al. (2019) and 11 new emotion concepts to the second version of the list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts.

Second Version of the Concept List

The extended version of the list described in Tjuka (2021) now consists of 220 concepts. The 22 color concepts and 136 human body part concepts stayed the same and are still on the list. However, we included emotion concepts that either also occurred in Jackson et al. (2019)  or were added in the latest release of Concepticon Version 2.5.0. (List et al. 2021). The new list was published on Zenodo and is available here: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6226423 (see Supplementary Material below).

The first version of the list already comprised noun concepts such as 2941 HAPPINESS and 1000 ANXIETY from the emotion domain based on Version 2.5.0 of Concepticon (List et al. 2021). Thus, we only added verbs and adjectives from the emotion domain to the new version. For example, verbs like 150 WORRY or 1875 REGRET as well as adjectives such as 1572 SURPRISED and 1826 ANGRY were added. The list now includes all concepts that were used in Jackson et al. (2019) plus 11 new emotion concepts. 


In an ongoing project, we investigate colexification networks across three semantic domains: color, emotion, and human body parts. The basis for our analysis is a list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts based on the concept sets in Concepticon (Version 2.5.0, List et al. 2021). The original version of the list (Version 1, Tjuka 2021) was extended to improve the comparability of our analysis with Jackson et al. (2019) and the overage of emotion concepts across language families. We will report on the results of our study in due time.

Supplementary Material

Tjuka, Annika. 2022. A list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts (Version 2). Zenodo: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6226423.


Jackson, Joshua Conrad, Joseph Watts, Teague R. Henry, Johann-Mattis List, Robert Forkel, Peter J. Mucha, Simon J. Greenhill, Russell D. Gray & Kristen A. Lindquist. 2019. Emotion semantics show both cultural variation and universal structure. Science Report 366. 1517–1522. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw8160.

List, Johann Mattis, Christoph Rzymski, Simon Greenhill, Nathanael Schweikhard, Kristina Pianykh, Annika Tjuka, Carolin Hundt & Robert Forkel. 2021. Concepticon. A resource for the linking of concept lists (Version 2.5.0). Leipzig, Germany: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.596412. https://concepticon.clld.org/.

List, Johann-Mattis, Michael Cysouw & Robert Forkel. 2016. Concepticon: A resource for the linking of concept lists. In Nicoletta Calzolari, Khalid Choukri, Thierry Declerck, Marko Grobelnik, Bente Maegaard, Joseph Mariani, Asuncion Moreno, Jan Odijk & Stelios Piperidis (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, 2393–2400. Portorož, Slovenia: European Language Resources Association. https://aclanthology.org/L16-1379/.

Rzymski, Christoph, Tiago Tresoldi, Simon J. Greenhill, Mei-Shin Wu, Nathanael E. Schweikhard, Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Volker Gast, et al. 2020. The Database of Cross-Linguistic Colexifications, reproducible analysis of cross-linguistic polysemies. Scientific Data 7(1). 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-019-0341-x.

Tjuka, Annika. 2021. A list of color, emotion, and human body part concepts. Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice. https://calc.hypotheses.org/3023 (01 November, 2021).

Download the article as PDF: calcip-05-02-02.pdf


Cite this blog post
Annika Tjuka (2022, February 28). Extending the List of Color, Emotion, and Human Body Part Concepts. Computer-Assisted Language Comparison in Practice. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/m6lh

This entry was posted in Concept List and tagged , , , on by .

About Annika Tjuka

My main goal is to answer questions about linguistic diversity with a focus on language variation in word meanings. I have a BA and MA degree in linguistics from the Humboldt University Berlin and am currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Jena. I am a language scientist studying patterns and causes of words with multiple meanings. For my work, I use data from language documentation, large-scale databases, and computational methods. In my Master’s thesis, I conducted the first systematic study of body part extensions such as table leg and foot of the mountain. I examined the frequency of 95 expressions in 13 languages and the preferences for underlying analogy patterns based on similarity in shape, spatial orientation, and function. The first project of my doctoral research established the Database of Cross-Linguistic Norms, Ratings, and Relations for Words and Concepts (NoRaRe), which contains 98 datasets from linguistics and psychology across 40 languages including 65 word properties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.