did you know there were eleven basic colour terms?

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

30 day blog challenge - day 3 - basic color terms. This opens a new browser window.

When Brent Berlin and Paul Kay introduced basic colour terms in their 1969 book ‘Basic color terms: Their Universality and Evolution’, it was the start of a new way of thinking about colour terms and colour naming.

(Day 3 into my 30 blogs in 30 days challenge!)

Berlin and Kay 1969 study was a compilation of colour terms in 98 languages from around the world. Interestingly, in their cross-cultural research these main eleven colours could be identified within the many languages.

This study was widely accepted and became the foundation from which later colour naming studies and research was based on.

30 day blog challenge - day 3 - basic color terms - jelly beans.

So, what are the eleven colours Berlin and Kay identified? They are:

yellow – orange – red – purple – blue – green – pink – brown – grey – black – white

Think of virtually any other colour name and it is usually a description taken from nature, a food name or a feeling, an emotion.

Berlin and Kay’s work has been embraced and criticised. I’m not aiming to do either, just share a bit of colour joy…

If you would like to know more here is an extract of their book Basic color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution .

Part of my 30 blogs in 30 days challenge series. Check out my other posts.

Image: http://www.morguefile.com/

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