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Basic colour terms of Arabic

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Abstract

This study aimed to establish the basic colour terms of Arabic and to clarify the status of three Arabic terms for blue: <i>azrock, samawee and khuhlie</i>. Data from a list task were collected from 253 child and 200 adult native Arabic speakers. The patterns of the terms ordered by their frequency from the two samples were essentially the same. In the colour-naming task, the child and adult samples (N = 61 and 60 respectively) had to name a set of 65 colours representing the whole colour palette. Both samples performed similarly. Based on these results, it appears that Arabic has eleven basic colour terms that correspond to Berlin and Kay&#8217;s (1969) universal set. In addition, the terms of particular interest &#8211; <i>samawee</i> &#8220;light blue&#8221; and <i>khuhlie</i> &#8220;dark blue&#8221; &#8211; are not basic Arabic colour terms.

References

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