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 This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors

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Tak

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PostSubject: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:26 pm

This is an excerpt from From Molecules to Metaphor:A Neural Theory of Language by Jerome A. Feldman. My dad was reading it and couldn't help but notice the similarities to my eleven color theory:

Quote :

The paradigm example involves the words for colors in the languages of the world. Berlin and Kay (Berlin et al. 1969) showed that, in languages around the world, basic color terms had essentially the same focal colors, even though boundaries around color categories varied., The neurophysiology of color vision was seen as directly providing the best explanation. There are now a number of competing explanations for commonality of focal colors, but they all are based on embodiment (Kay et al. 2005).

The eleven basic color terms in English are red, blue, yellow, green, brown, orange, purple, pink, gray, white, black. The basic color terms are all short words; they are not based on a color of a thing in the world, such as gold, copper, or blonde; they are not subsets of other colors, such as scarlet, which is a kind of red; and they are in general use. Languages have from two to twelve basic color terms. The New Guinean language Dani has two, Russian and Turkish have twelve. In the 1950s, color names were believed to be arbitrary in different languages. The assumption was that you couldn’t predict the ranges of these different color terms. Paul Kay and Brent Berlin did a study in which they asked where the boundaries of color terms were and also what colors a color chart were the best examples of each term. Between their own experiments and the literature, they surveyed about 100 languages. They found that the boundaries for different languages were somewhat different, but the best examples were quite similar. This study has since been greatly expanded and the basic result confirmed (Kay et al. 2005).

For instance, if a language has one color term that covers both blue and green, the best examples selected for that color are usually either central blue or central green. Central blue and central green are the same hues chosen by English speakers as the best examples of blue and green, respectively. Some variability in the central colors may be caused in part by gender differences. Do not argue with someone of the opposite gender over whether something looks blue or green. In some cultures, certain colors may be environmentally very prominent (such as the color of a certain type of plant), and these colors may be chosen as the best examples of the category rather than the physiologically central color.

Dani is a language that has two color, light-warm (covering white, red, yellow, and orange) and dark-cool (covering black, blue, green, and purple). Speakers of Dani generally chose central red, central white, or central yellow as the best examples of the warm category and central blue, central black, or central green as the best examples of the cool category. A given speaker might choose different central colors as the best examples on different trials.

There is also considerable evidence on how the color word system evolves over time¬¬ – usually when its community encounters other languages. Figure 8.1 outlines the development as speakers of a language (like Dani) that has only two color words come to express further distinctions. Systematically, when a third word is added, it distinguishes white from warm; a fourth term will separate black from cool, and so on. Since this progression appears to hold very widely, it is further evidence that human color terms are anything but arbitrary. Eleanor Rosch tried to teach Dani speakers two types of color systems, one based on the English system and one random system in which color terms didn’t necessarily include central colors. The Dani speakers easily learned the English system, but couldn’t learn the random system. Why is this?

The focal colors are determined by the properties of the color pathways in the visual system (Dowling 2000). Color is largely determined by cones in the retina and subsequent cortical procession. Three kinds of retinal cone cells respond preferential to long, medium, and short wavelengths of light. People who have only two types of cones are called color-blind. Further along the color pathway are neurons with center-surround receptive fields. These cells respond maximally to configurations of one color in the center and a contrasting color surround, such as a red center and a green surround. Our perception of color is based on the relative strengths of the signals from different cells sensing light from each point in space. A strong signal from a red center-green surround cell is perceived as red. If you look hard at something that is bright green and quickly shift to something white, there will be a pale pink tinge to the new object.

Why is this interesting? It shows that there are human universals of color; color isn’t arbitrary. In addition, it shows that color is not out there in the world. Colors are not individual wavelengths or collections of adjacent wavelengths. The color we perceive depends on the interactions between the illumination, a reflecting object, the reflections of nearby objects, and the detailed structure of our eyes and brains. We see in chapter 15 that a person’s concepts and language can affect how he or she perceives color.


Notice that the eleven basic colors in English are exactly the eleven I named. Other colors are subsets of these colors, or the color of some real world object, and are not truly colors in and of themselves. Also, notice that women and men perceive colors differently, supporting my theory that women are trying to make up such arbitrary colors as “taupe” and “mauve” to confuse men.


Last edited by Tak on Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:28 pm

WTB Headache man.
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Tak

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PostSubject: Re: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:29 pm

P.S. I looked up colors in Russian. They are all the same, except they have two distinct words for dark blue and light blue. That's where the 12th color comes from there.
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PostSubject: Re: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:23 pm

ROFL. HE is talking about basic colors tho Tak, not ACTUAL colors.
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Tak

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PostSubject: Re: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:54 pm

But he's saying essentially the same thing. And, you know, people always questioned my grouping of colors, especially pink ("It's just light red!"). And, well, he just laid out the exact 11 colors I put forward right here. And the whole "white is the absence of color" thing? WRONG!
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Tak

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PostSubject: Re: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:56 pm

Okay, basically, it all boils down to this:

My craziest idea ever is supported by scientific evidence and studies.
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PostSubject: Re: This guy agrees with me: There are 11 colors   Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:15 pm

k
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