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The Linguistics of Color Terms

By Paul Kay, Neil J. Smelser, Paul B. Baltes and Bernard Comrie


The study of the linguistics of color terms has mostly been concerned with isolating the 'basic' color terms of a language: the smallest set of linguistically simplex expressions of the language with which a speaker can name any color The words that different languages use to name colors have furnished a prime focus for research on the doctrine of linguistic relativity. This doctrine holds that (1) different languages categorize the world very differently and (2) the non-linguistic thought and behavior of different peoples are deeply influenced by these differences in linguistic categorization. Words for colors have been considered an ideal area of lexicon for testing this doctrine because there exist scientific color order systems, which provide a precise metalanguage for describing color sensations independent of the words of any natural language. Such a metalanguage furnishes the means to characterize precisely the same..

Year: 2001
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