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Re: Semantic typology?

From:Alex Fink <000024@...>
Date:Monday, August 11, 2008, 17:24
On Mon, 11 Aug 2008 13:11:57 -0400, Alex Fink <000024@...> wrote:

>I've read -- though it escapes me where at the moment -- that on the grounds >of representation in the lexicon and textual usage, the system of colour >terms on the whole were really secondary to the system of terms describing >luster in Old English. Likewise many languages whose scheme of true colour >terms is poor are often supposed to be well stocked in terms combining >colour/lustre/texture/whatever other aspects of visual appearance: there >might not be a "yellow" but there might be a "yellow, dry, and brittle, like >dead grass".
Oh, yes, AFMCL I've been influenced by these sorts of things in pjaukra: Berlin and Kaye would say that there are eight basic terms 'white' 'gray' 'black' 'red' 'yellow' 'green' 'blue' 'brown (also covers orange)' but in fact there are pairs of words for 'matte black' vs. 'lustrous black', and for 'dull white/off-white' vs. 'shining white/pure white', that are both used as basic terms would be, and neither makes a entirely satisfying hyponym for the other. For that matter I have it in mind that the native word for 'colour' applies equally well in the minds of speakers to terms like 'multicoloured', 'white-speckled', 'piebald'. They can of course discriminate the pure colours but it's a secondary distinction, maybe like warm vs. cold colours for us. Alex


Michael Poxon <mike@...>