Terms for red in Central Europe

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In 1969 Brent Berlin and Paul Kay suggested that Hungarian may constitute an exception to their theory of universal BCCs by possessing 12 BCTs, including two basic reds. Recently some researchers have proposed that this is also true for Czech. These two genetically distant Central European languages were tested in large empirical-cognitive field studies in 2002, 2003 and 2007. The data collected show that both languages possess exactly 11 BCTs, including one basic term for red. However, it seems that the other term for red is culturally salient on a non-basic level. The puzzle of two salient terms for red could be best understood by drawing attention to the contextual impact on meaning, which is handled by examining syntagmatic and paradigmatic collocations. The case of the two colour terms may represent a unique areal phenomenon.


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