Print

Print


>Oh, I just remembered one.   One universal (and I'm pretty sure this is a
>universal) is that a language will have *at most* 11 *basic* color terms

That's the most easily and obviously refutable of Berlin
and Kay's bold claims.


>There's apparently psychological evidence from Russian, though, to argue
for Russian
>having 12 basic color terms, where one color (I don't know the words)
refers
>to light blue, and another refers to dark blue.   I don't know how they
tested
>this (I mean, aside from the fact that the terms are morphologically
basic),
>but it apparently holds that neither of these blues is the more basic
blue,
>and that these are just as morphologically and cognitively basic as, say,
red,
>black, yellow, white, etc.

That's it. Trying to impose the limit of 11 was simply
an unsupportable and clearly biassed whim of B&K, whose
purpose was seemingly to establish the 11-term system
of their mother tongue English as "perfect". If their
mother tongue had been Russian, I'm sure they would have
claimed there are 12 universal basic colour categories
instead of 11.

Cheers,
Javier