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What counts as a basic color word?

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 1, 2003, 23:29
        So I happened upon a list of color words from Classical Latin and noticed
something rather odd:
        albus: white
        candidus: brilliant, bright white
        ater: black
        niger: shiny black

        Are "candidus" and "niger" considered basic color words? And what counts as a
"basic" color word? (I.e., I would consider "salmon," "teal," "maroon" to be
non-basic color words, while white, black, red, yellow, green, etc. to be
basic color words.) Is it culturally specific or is there some definition
that distinguishes what a basic color word is?
Oh what a tangled web they weave who try a new word to conceive!


R Burke <rmgb@...>
Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>