Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

Color Terminology in English and French

Color Terminology in English and French

Kyrene Collins

Both English and French have large vocabularies of secondary color terms. Many of these words were borrowed from French into Middle English. Given the variety that can be found in the secondary color terminology of all languages, and even within the history of these two languages, these two systems of color naming are remarkably similar. Both are based on hue, rather than on saturation or brightness, although each language has an ancestor which went through a shift from brightness to hue. These hues are named after objects such as foods, metals, animals, and plants which the hue resembles, although the earliest terms were named after dyes.

April 9, 2014 - Posted by | abstract

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