Download Naming the Rainbow: Colour Language, Colour Science, and by D. Dedrick PDF

By D. Dedrick

Is there a common biolinguistic disposition for the improvement of `basic' color phrases? this question has been an issue of dialogue given that Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's Basic colour phrases: Their Universality andEvolution was once released in 1969. Naming the Rainbow is the 1st prolonged learn of this debate. the writer describes and criticizes empirically and conceptually unified types of color naming that relate uncomplicated color phrases on to perceptual and eventually to physiological evidence, arguing that this process has missed the cognitive size of color naming. He proposes a psychosemantics for simple color phrases that is delicate to cultural distinction and to the character and constitution of non-linguistic event.
Audience: modern color naming learn is greatly interdisciplinary and Naming the Rainbow can be of curiosity to philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, and cognitive scientists serious about: organic constraints on cognition and categorization; difficulties inherent in cross-cultural and in interdisciplinary technology; the character and volume of cultural relativism.

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Extra info for Naming the Rainbow: Colour Language, Colour Science, and Culture

Example text

L. Hardin presents the following case as an example: purple seems to have both reddish and bluish constituents in it, and is readily describable as a reddish blue or a bluish red. It could thus plausibly be the result of mixing "red" cone outputs with "blue" cone outputs, by analogy with the mixture of "red" light and "blue" light to give "purple" light. But yellow, which is generated by mixing "red" light with "green" light, does not seem to be a reddish green or a greenish red. Indeed, there are no reddish greens.

Hardin ( 1988, pp. 161-2) suggests two reasons. " If these points are ignored the focal spread decreases dramatically. 7 Secondly, the Munsell chips which occupy much of the green range span an area of poor hue discrimination. If we return to Figure 2 we see that the curves for yellow and green-the responses active in this area of the spectrum-are relatively flat. Psychophysical experiments to determine unique green for a population of 50 subjects revealed that this hue, for this number of subjects, spanned a portion of the PSYCHOPHYSICS AND COLOUR NAMING 39 spectrum equivalent to six Munsell chips with perceptual differences equivalent to those used by Berlin and Kay (Hardin 1988, p.

If we want more colours than this we need only additional dimensions, such as those mentioned in the preceding paragraph, to increase the final tally. Application of the common notions of "colour," "colours," and "shades of colour" can reduce the millions to a handful. Objects (i) exemplify the property of being coloured (in this general sense colour is an Aristotelian "category"-a fundamental mode in terms of which objects are presented to us). Being coloured also entails (ii) having a colour-in the sense of being red, yellow, green, blue, black, or white-and, further, (iii) having a determinate shade of colour: being a particular red, for example.

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