Individual and population differences in focal colors

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Using the data of the World Color Survey, variation in the selection of focal colors both within languages and across languages was studied. The variation within languages was found to be much greater than the variation across languages. For example, for color terms in different languages that roughly translate as English ‘red’, focus placements were found to cluster to amuch greater extent across languages than within languages, although statistically significant differences in cross-language average focal choices were found. The resulting picture is one of constrained but not identical focus placements across languages and impressively greater variation in focus placements within than across languages.


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