Purchase this article with an account.
Delwin T. Lindsey, Angela M. Brown; The color lexicon of American English. Journal of Vision 2014;14(2):17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.2.17.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
This article describes color naming by 51 American English–speaking informants. A free-naming task produced 122 monolexemic color terms, with which informants named the 330 Munsell samples from the World Color Survey. Cluster analysis consolidated those terms into a glossary of 20 named color categories: the 11 Basic Color Term (BCT) categories of Berlin and Kay (1969, p. 2) plus nine nonbasic chromatic categories. The glossed data revealed two color-naming motifs: the green–blue motif of the World Color Survey and a novel green–teal–blue motif, which featured peach, teal, lavender, and maroon as high-consensus terms. Women used more terms than men, and more women expressed the novel motif. Under a constrained-naming protocol, informants supplied BCTs for the color samples previously given nonbasic terms. Most of the glossed nonbasic terms from the free-naming task named low-consensus colors located at the BCT boundaries revealed by the constrained-naming task. This study provides evidence for continuing evolution of the color lexicon of American English, and provides insight into the processes governing this evolution.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only