An important distinction must be established between color and shape, these words their way yellow book pdf attributes usually are used in conjunction with one another when describing in language. For example, being labeled as alternative parts of speech terms color term and shape term. There are many different dimensions by which color varies. English refers to moderately high brightness with strong color saturation.

Some phenomena are due to related optical effects, but may or may not be described separately from the color name. Similarly, languages are selective when deciding which hues are split into different colors on the basis of how light or dark they are. To English speakers, these pairs of colors, which are objectively no more different from one another than light green and dark green, are conceived of as belonging to different categories. English speakers would simply call dark and light blue.

Herero color category, compared to people whose language separates the colors into two different color categories. This distinction is made even if two shades are identical. Berlin and Kay based their analysis on a comparison of color words in 20 languages from around the world. Stage I only covers two terms white and black however these terms are referenced broadly to describe other undefined color terms. For example, the Jale highland group in New Guinea identify the color of blood as black.

This is because at this stage I, white and black, are associated with which objects closer associates to the degree of brightness from which it has. With stage II the recognition of another term red is developed. Objects are less consternated to their degree of brightness for classification and instead in this stage we see each term cover a larger scope of colors. At this stage there are more cultures who recognize yellow rather than green first. Currently there are two languages which identify green first, the Ibiobio Nigerian language and the Philippine language of Mindoro, Hanunoo. At stage IV regardless of which term was acquired by a culture the term not defined is now acquired at this stage bringing the total terms to five. Thus, the three most basic colors are black, white, and red.

All languages distinguishing six colors contain terms for black, white, red, green, yellow, and blue. These colors roughly correspond to the sensitivities of the retinal ganglion cells, leading Berlin and Kay to argue that color naming is not merely a cultural phenomenon, but is one that is also constrained by biology—that is, language is shaped by perception. The proposed evolutionary trajectories as of 1999 are as follows. Eighty percent of sampled languages lie along the central path.

Today every natural language that has words for colors is considered to have from two to twelve basic color terms. All other colors are considered by most speakers of that language to be variants of these basic color terms. Color words in a language can also be divided into abstract color words and descriptive color words, though the distinction is blurry in many cases. Abstract color words are words that only refer to a color. In English white, black, red, yellow, green, blue, brown, and gray are abstract color words. Descriptive color words are words that are secondarily used to describe a color but primarily used to refer to an object or phenomenon.