Tim May scripsit:

> Mmmm, I don't agree with all of this.  "To blue" is to my knowledge only
> found as a technical term in metalworking, but I think "to brown" has
> more general applicability;  it's principally used in the kitchen,

I agree that in these technical uses "blue" and "brown" can be causatives.

> I find it acceptable for e.g. the action of the sun on skin.

I find it strained to call this a causative:  I'd expect "His skin browned"
(became brown) rather than "The sun browned his skin" (caused to be brown).

> contrast, I'm not sure I can think of an example where I'd find "to
> purple" natural.

I think of purpling a toga.

> It's interesting that these all seem to have fairly restricted
> semantic ranges.  For one thing, they all have a connotation of
> incomplete effect...  "I painted the wall red" vs "I reddened the wall
> with paint" - Talmy's satellite-framed/verb-framed typology?

But "to redden a coal" means to make it red, not just to make it more
nearly red, I think.

John Cowan                              [log in to unmask]  
Humpty Dump Dublin squeaks through his norse
                Humpty Dump Dublin hath a horrible vorse
But for all his kinks English / And his irismanx brogues
                Humpty Dump Dublin's grandada of all rogues.  --Cousin James