Color terms in ancient Egyptian and Coptic

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The examination of the ancient Egyptian-Coptic color terms, their grammatical identification, their range of usage, and their etymologies permit the following conclusions: There are four BCTs, all verbs, ‘black,’ ‘white,’ ‘red’ and ‘green,’ as traditionally translated. The focus of ‘red’ is in the red range and not in the middle of the red-with-yellow range. The focus of ‘green’ lies in the green range and not in the middle of the green-with-blue range nor in the pale green range. In the final, Coptic, stage, the partition of the red range into ‘deep red’ and ‘light-red’ must be assumed. The traditional written language allowed additional place for further verbal color terms, but these never entered the colloquial language as BCTs. Among these alternatives, the use of ‘lapis lazuli-colored, blue’ is strikingly common; that of ‘charcoal-like, black’ and ‘golden’ is less common. Egyptian did not develop a BCT for either blue or yellow. Basically Egyptian-Coptic remained at B&K Stage IIIa.


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