On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Ed Heil wrote:

> See this web site:
> for some info on classic work on color terms, which was conducted by
> showing speakers of different languages a wilde variety of color chips
> and asking them to choose the ones that are representative of the
> basic color terms in their languages.
> Er, read the article.  It's really classic work, and it's written up
> better than I could explain it and it shows the color chips.

I can imagine linguists using the website and printing the colour
chips out with uncalibrated colour inkjet printers and writing a
whole new generation of off-colour grammars :-).

I've always been fascinated with this topic - when I wrote my grammar
of Late Colloquial Charyan (a descendant of Denden - nowadays I don't
fast-forward the history quite so much, so this is very much an extinct
descendant language ;-), I took care to read up on it. The classical book
on the subject is:

Berlin, Brent & Paul Kay. 1969: _Basic color terms: their universality
and evolution_. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Now I look at it, Late Colloquial Charyan was quite a nice language. And
the grammar is written in English - my first venture in writing English,
in fact. Perhaps I'll make it available as a kind of a historical artifact.

Boudewijn Rempt  |