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Why there are no 'colour universals' in language and thought

Wierzbicka, Anna


Do all people live in a world full of colours? Perceptually, yes (unless they are visually impaired), but conceptually, no: there are many languages which have no word for 'colour' and in which the question 'what colour is it?' cannot be asked and presumably does not arise. Yet the powerful and still immensely influential theory of Berlin and Kay assumes otherwise. While building on my earlier work on colour semantics, this article brings new evidence against the Berlin and Kay paradigm, and...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2008
Type: Journal article
Source: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.00509.x


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