The work reported in this monograph was begun in the winter of 1967 in a graduate seminar at Berkeley. Many of the basic data were gathered by members of the seminar and the theoretical framework presented here was initially developed in the context of the seminar discussions. Much has been discovered since1969, the date of original publication, regarding the psychophysical and neurophysical determinants of universal, cross-linguistic constraints on the shape of basic color lexicons, and something, albeit less, can now also (...) be said with some confidence regarding the constraining effects of these language-independent processes of color perception and conceptualization on the direction of evolution of basic color term lexicons. (shrink)
Research in linguistic semantics may be roughly divided into two broad traditions. Students concerned with lexical fields and lexical domains ('lexical semanticists') have interested themselves in the paradigmatic relations of contrast that obtain among related lexical items and the substantive detail of how particular lexical items map to the nonlinguistic objects they stand for. 'Formal semanticists' (those who study the combinatorial properties of word meanings) have been mostly unconcerned with these issues, concentrating rather on how the meanings of individual words, (...) whatever their internal structure may be and however they may be paradigmatically related to one another, combine into the meanings of phrases and sentences (and recently, to some extent, texts). (shrink)
Saunders & van Brakel's claim that Berlin and Kay (1969) assumed a language/vision correlation in the area of color categorization and disguised this assumption as a finding is shown to be false. The methodology of the World Color Survey, now nearing completion, is discussed and the possibility of an additional language/vision correlation in color categorization is suggested.
PURPLE (RED-and-BLUE) is the most frequently occurring derived (binary) basic color term (BCT), but there is never a named composite BCT meaning RED-or-BLUE. GREEN-or-BLUE is the most frequently named composite color category, but there is never a BCT for the corresponding derived (binary) category CYAN (BLUE-and-GREEN). Why?
The simulations of Steels & Belpaeme (S&B) suggest that communication could lead to color categories that are closely shared within a language and potentially diverge across languages. We argue that this is opposite of the patterns that are actually observed in empirical studies of color naming. Focal color choices more often exhibit strong concordance across languages while also showing pronounced variability within any language.
The data provided by Grodzinsky demonstrating a syntactic comprehension deficit in Broca's patients provide no evidence for the theoretical concepts of movement, trace or “trace deletion.” The comprehension deficit data can be more economically accounted for with traditional grammatical concepts that are less theory-internal and more empirically based.