Author Archives: Benjamin Yang

Have you ever really talked about your hands?

March 19, 2020 ||

Word origins can vary widely within and across languages. For certain concepts like ‘water’, ‘head’, or ‘egg’, the modern words often resemble the ancestors of these words from thousands of years ago. On the other hand, for wanderwort concepts like ‘taxi’ or ‘sushi’, borrowing across languages is the norm. Nearly anywhere you go in the […]

PanLex at WikidataCon 2019

November 20, 2019 ||

On October 25, 02019, PanLex was honored to present the first keynote speech at WikidataCon in Berlin, Germany. As our representative, I was excited to share PanLex’s ideas about the importance of linguistic diversity and lexical data’s role in helping to preserve that diversity with the staff, volunteers, and users of Wikidata. The Wikidata audience […]

Wikidata, WikidataCon, and PanLex

September 11, 2019 ||

We are honored to announce that PanLex has been asked to give one of the two keynote speeches at WikidataCon 2019 in Berlin, Germany on October 25th. Wikidata, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, is a collaboratively-edited database of structured knowledge. Much in the way that Wikimedia’s most well-known project Wikipedia is a publicly created […]


July 10, 2019 ||

The term onomatopœia, derived from the Greek ὀνοματοποιία (ὄνομα (ónoma), “name” + ποιέω (poiéō), “to make, to do, to produce”), refers to words whose phonetic forms originate from the sound of the thing or action the word represents. Common examples from English are “oink”, “beep”, and “hiccup”. Japanese is known for having a very large […]

The Most Common Words in PanLex

March 7, 2019 ||

The PanLex Database contains a large diversity of languages and dialects. This diversity allows us to explore interesting language facts, illuminated by casting PanLex’s wide net across the languages of the world. One question, originally suggested by our founder and director emeritus Dr. Jonathan Pool was: What’s the most common word in the PanLex Database? […]