Re: Sounds like...
|From:||JOEL MATTHEW PEARSON <mpearson@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 19, 1998, 0:51|
On Thu, 19 Nov 1998, Kristian Jensen wrote:
> John Fisher wrote:
> >"Murud=brown" seems to have struck a chord, but apart from that
> >just like the Tokana results, one person's yellow is another
> >person's red...
> "murud" sounds like mud. I guess that's why...
Myself, I associate rounded vowels with dark colours and unrounded
vowels with light (or bright) colours. Hence, in Tokana:
hiem pale grey
The only exception to this pattern is "hemak" which denotes a dark
colour but has no rounded vowels in it. "Hemak" is a dark grey colour,
the colour of wet sand or thunderclouds.
Appropos of nothing, colour words in Tokana are not adjectives or
stative verbs, but nouns denoting objects. E.g., "has" does not
mean "white" or even "the colour white", but "white object".
Colour terms can thus be used referentially:
Te has lhon peso
the:Abs white-object there pick-up-Imp
"Pick up that white thing over there"
"White house" would be "katia has", literally "house which is a
white thing". One way to think of this is that the Tokana perceive
colours not as abstract properties which an object may or may not have,
but as ways of characterising an object (if that distinction makes
To name the colours themselves, you have to form a compound using
the word "nalei", which means "colour" or "hue" (or "paint"). Hence,
the colour white as a concept would be referred to as "te nalei has",
literally "the colour of white things". :-)
Alternatively, you apply reduplication to "has", you get
"hahas", which means "the set of all white things" (reduplication
is used to form abstract generic nouns referring to classes of
objects). "Hahas" can be thought of as naming the extensional meaning
of "white" - viz. the intersection of all objects which are white. :-)