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Re: Survey(?) of ConLangs' Calendars and Colors and Kinterms

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Saturday, November 12, 2005, 22:10
John Vertical wrote:
> That's of course just one solution; I can think of other, equally > systematic ones. CMYK pops easily into mind next; you could also start > from dividing the spectrum in equal parts (and this can be done either > by frequency, by wavelenght, or by the projection of a prism), or from > the details of human color vision, or from the colors of certain common > substances (chlorophyll, hemoglobine, etc.)
The Minza color-naming scheme is an attempt to represent the different systems of color vision of humans and the non-humans of the Azirian universe (see I end up having one set of color names based on a logarithmic scale of wavelength, and an incomplete set of complementary color names (colors with the absence of the specified wavelength). Still, two additional colors which represent the "poles" of the Zireen/Sangari sphere of hues are left out of this scheme, and have their own words (borrowed from the Tirelat language).
> It is true that green has the widest wavelenght / frequence range, but > this does not necessarily imply that it also has the widest > psychological range. I'd in fact argue the opposite: since such a large > part of the spectrum appears "green", it must be comparatively harder > for the the human eye to distinguish colors of that region from each > another.
This is one drawback of the Minza color scheme; there ends up being two words for "green": "zerđi" for a green that's a little on the yellowish side, and "ghuvi" for a different shade of green that's a little more bluish. Not to mention "šilgi" (turquoise) which is in the boundary region between green and blue.
> But I'm getting carried away. Anyway, on hues of green, personally I > actually identify cyan as a secondary color, distinct from both green > and blue but relative to both. However, I do not perceive a similar > secondary color existing between yellow and green. So in my perception, > the spectrum consists of four primary and three secondary colors: > RoYGcBv. And even if I had to add a fourth secondary color, it would be > magenta, not yellow-green (nor indigo!)
On my old Tirelat color chart (before I decided that Tirelat was a Sangari language) (, I had five primary colors (red, yellow, green, blue, purple) and five intermediate colors. Purple is a special case because it's not part of the spectrum, but it closes the circle. I selected the five main colors very carefully to match my ideas at the time of what a "prototypical" green or red looks like, while keeping the hues evenly spaced. But not all of the intermediate colors seem to have the same status; like you, I see orange as a clearly different hue, but "leaf green" just looks like another variety of green. Similarly, indigo appears as just a variety of blue. Violet isn't on this particular chart, but it appears as a variety of purple to me. That leaves magenta, which appears intermediate between red and purple, and colors in the cyan-turquoise range, which appear intermediate between green and blue. Unlike these others, though, I have a hard time seeing orange as just a yellowish red. Possibly a result of early exposure to the red-yellow-blue color wheel, with orange, green, and purple as secondary colors?