Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The article discusses semantic change and lexical replacement processes in the color domain, based on color naming studies in seven Germanic languages (where diachronic intra-linguistic development is inferred from cross-linguistic synchronic studies) and from different generations of speakers in a single language (Swedish). Change in the color domain often begins and ends in conceptual peripheries, and I argue that this perspective is suitable for other semantic domains as well.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Altmann, Hans
    1999 Farbadjektiva im Deutschen. In Wolfgang Falkner & Hans-Jörg Schmid (eds.), Words, lexemes, concepts: Approaches to the lexicon. Studies in honour of Leonhard Lipka, 121–132. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Archibald, John
    1989 A lexical model of color space. In Roberta Corrigan , Fred R. Echman & Michael Noonan (eds.), Linguistic categorization, 31–51. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.61.04arc
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.61.04arc [Google Scholar]
  3. Berlin, Brent & Paul Kay
    1969Basic color terms: Their universality and evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Beskow, Elsa
    1918Tant Grön, tant Brun och tant Gredelin. Stockholm: Bonnier.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Caskey-Sirmons, Leigh A. & Nancy P. Hickerson
    1977 Semantic shift and bilingualism: Variation in the color terms of five languages. Anthropological Linguistics19(8). 358–367.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Casson, Ronald W.
    1994 Russett, rose, and raspberry: The development of English secondary color terms. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology4(1). 5–22. doi:  10.1525/jlin.1994.4.1.5
    https://doi.org/10.1525/jlin.1994.4.1.5 [Google Scholar]
  7. 1997 Color shift: Evolution of English color terms from brightness to hue. In Clyde Laurence Hardin & Luisa Maffi (eds.), Color categories in thought and language, 224–239. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:  10.1017/CBO9780511519819.010
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511519819.010 [Google Scholar]
  8. Courtade, Ida
    1996 Die purpurrote Rose aus Kairo war lila: Fehler bei der Übersetzung von Farbadjektiven (Deutsch-Englisch-Spanisch), deren Ursprung und Beispiele aus Fachtexten, Filmtiteln und Kunst. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German29(1). 77–80. doi:  10.2307/3531645
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3531645 [Google Scholar]
  9. Desgrippes, Magalie
    2011 Sur les traces de l’évolution de la catégorie orange. Université de Fribourg: MA thesis. doc.rero.ch/record/27075
  10. Hassibi, Babak & Sormeh Shadbakht
    2007 Normalized entropy vectors, network information theory and convex optimization (pp.1–5). Presented at the2007 IEEE Information Theory Workshop on Information Theory for Wireless Networks. 10.1109/ITWITWN.2007.4318051
    https://doi.org/10.1109/ITWITWN.2007.4318051 [Google Scholar]
  11. Heider, Eleanor
    1972 Universals in color naming and memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology93(1). 10–20. doi:  10.1037/h0032606
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0032606 [Google Scholar]
  12. Jones, William Jervis
    2013German colour terms: A study in their historical evolution from earliest times to present. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/sihols.119
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sihols.119 [Google Scholar]
  13. Kay, Paul
    1975 Synchronic variability and diachronic change in Basic Color Terms. Language in Society4(3). 257–270. 10.1017/S0047404500006667
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500006667 [Google Scholar]
  14. Kay, Paul , Brent Berlin , Luisa Maffi & William Merrifield
    1997 Color naming across languages. In Clyde Laurence Hardin & Luisa Maffi (eds.), Color categories in thought and language, 21–56. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511519819.002
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511519819.002 [Google Scholar]
  15. Kay, Paul , Brent Berlin , Luisa Maffi , William Merrifield & Richard S. Cook
    2009World Color Survey. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Lindsey, Delwin T. & Angela M. Brown
    2014 The color lexicon of American English. Journal of Vision14(2). 1–25. doi:  10.1167/14.2.17
    https://doi.org/10.1167/14.2.17 [Google Scholar]
  17. MacLaury, Robert E.
    1991 Social and cognitive motivations of change: Measuring variability in color semantics. Language67(1). 34–62. doi:  10.2307/415538
    https://doi.org/10.2307/415538 [Google Scholar]
  18. 1997Color and cognition in Mesoamerica: Constructing categories as vantages. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Majid, Asifa
    2008 Focal colours. In Asifa Majid (ed.), Field manual, vol.11, 8–10. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Majid, Asifa , Fiona Jordan & Michael Dunn
    2011Evolution of semantic systems procedures manual. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Majid, Asifa & Stephen C. Levinson
    2007 The language of vision I: Colour. In Asifa Majid (ed.), Field manual, vol.10, 22–25. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. fieldmanuals.mpi.nl/volumes/2007/language-of-vision-colour/
    [Google Scholar]
  22. OED, Oxford English Dictionary Online. July 2018 Oxford University Press. www.oed.com/ (accessedJuly 25, 2018)
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Paul, Hermann , Helmut Henne , Heidrun Kämper & Georg Objartel
    2002Deutsches Wörterbuch: Bedeutungsgeschichte und Aufbau unseres Wortschatzes, 10th edn.Tübingen: Niemeyer. site.ebrary.com/id/10595774. 10.1515/9783110929799
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110929799 [Google Scholar]
  24. R Development Core Team
    R Development Core Team 2013R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. www.R-project.org
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Rakhilina, Ekaterina & Galina V. Paramei
    2011 Colour terms – Evolution via expansion of taxonomic constraints. In Carole P. Biggam , Carole A. Hough , Christian J. Kay & David R. Simmons (eds.), New directions in colour studies, 121–131. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.167.15rak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.167.15rak [Google Scholar]
  26. Regier, Terry , Paul Kay , Aubtry L. Gilbert & Richard B. Ivry
    2007 Language and thought: Which side are you on, anyway?In Barbara C. Malt & Phillip M. Wolff (eds.), Words and the world: How words capture human experience, 165–182. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Regier, Terry , Paul Kay & Naveen Khetarpal
    2007 Color naming reflects optimal partitions of color space. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America104(4). 1436–1441. 10.1073/pnas.0610341104
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0610341104 [Google Scholar]
  28. Rosch, Eleanor H.
    1973 Natural categories. Cognitive Psychology4(3). 328–350. 10.1016/0010‑0285(73)90017‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(73)90017-0 [Google Scholar]
  29. Shannon, Claude E. & Warren Weaver
    1964The mathematical theory of communication, 1st edn.Urbana: The University of Illinois Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Stofnun Árna Magnussonar
    Stofnun Árna Magnussonar. n.d.Ritmálssafn Orðabókar Háskólans. AccessedSeptember 3, 2018. lexis.hi.is/cgi-bin/ritmal/leitord.cgi?adg=innsl
  31. Sun, Richard K.
    1983 Perceptual distances and the basic color term encoding sequence. American Anthropologist, New Series85(2). 387–391. 10.1525/aa.1983.85.2.02a00110
    https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1983.85.2.02a00110 [Google Scholar]
  32. Ullman, Stephen
    1957The principles of semantics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Vejdemo, Susanne
    2017Triangulating perspectives on lexical replacement: From predictive statistical models to descriptive color linguistics. Stockholm: Stockholm University.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Vejdemo, Susanne , Carsten Levisen , Thorhalla G. Beck , Cornelia von Scherpenberg , Åshild Næss , Martina Zimmerman , Linnaea Stockall & Matthew Whelpton
    2015 Two kinds of pink: Development and difference in Germanic colour semantics. Language Sciences49. 19–34. doi:  10.1016/j.langsci.2014.07.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2014.07.007 [Google Scholar]
  35. von der Lippe-Fan, Yanqian
    1996Farbnomenklatur im Deutschen und im Chinesischen: Eine kontrastive Analyse unter psycholinguistischen, semantischen und kulturellen Aspekten. Frankfurt a. M.: Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Weinreich, Uriel , William Labov & Marvin Herzog
    1968 Empirical foundations for a theory of language change. In Winfried Philipp Lehman & Yakov Malkiel (ed.), Directions for historical linguistics, 95–195. Austin; London: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Zollinger, Heinrich
    1984 Why just turquoise? Remarks on the evolution of color terms. Psychological Research46(4). 403–409. doi:  10.1007/BF00309072
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00309072 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error