English colour verbs (was: Adjectives, Adverbs, Ad...)
|From:||Tim May <butsuri@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 19:24|
John Cowan wrote at 2004-03-16 07:28:31 (-0500)
> Philippe Caquant scripsit:
> > In French, [stative color] verbs don't exist, AFAIK. There are
> > verbs meaning "to become red" (rougir), or blue (bleuir), or
> > green (verdir) etc.
> In English this is lexically determined: redden, whiten, blacken;
> green, yellow, purple (no suffix); but blue and brown cannot form
> causative forms at all.
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, but
I find it acceptable for e.g. the action of the sun on skin. By
contrast, I'm not sure I can think of an example where I'd find "to
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? How do
you say "I painted the wall red" in Spanish?