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Quest for colours: what's basic then?

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 21, 2004, 21:25

Following the discussion about colours, I wanted to know how many
basic terms German has.  I don't know.  Yet.

At least, I found 'türkis', which is a clearly a different colour than
'grün' and 'blau'.  It's in between.  I would, intuitively, categorise
it as basic because no other color term applies to 'türkis'.

It was not listed in Danny's Russian colour list, so I looked it up in
my dictionary and found 'biryuza'.  I have no idea whether that is a
common or basic term in Russian, but at least it was not in the list
of the twelve basic colours of Russian.

But what is a basic colour?  How can I count those of German?  I took
the Russian list and translated it and found no equivalent for the two
blues.  There is only one blue in German.  But 'türkis' was clearly
missing.  Is something else missing?

What about 'beige'?  One could argue that it is a light brown, but
really, it is not brown, it is 'beige'.  It could evenly be described
as ugly dark yellow (which, I assume, is not a basic colour term...)
But it is 'beige'.




Levi Tooker <lrtooker@...>