Philosophical Psychology 9 (4):497 – 524 (1996)

Authors
Don Dedrick
University of Guelph
Abstract
Since the publication of Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's Basic color terms in 1969 there has been continuing debate as to whether or not there are linguistic universals in the restricted domain of color naming. In this paper I am primarily concerned with the attempt to explain the existence of basic color terms in languages. That project utilizes psychological and ultimately physiological generalizations in the explanation of linguistic regularities. The main problem with this strategy is that it cannot account for a particular subset of basic color words: words that the Berlin-Kay tradition calls “composite”. The existence of such words does not compromise the claim that there are basic color words. It does suggest that such words—and basic terms in general—require a more complex type of explanatory strategy than much contemporary work on color naming supposes. It is my main contention that the central problems with the Berlin-Kay tradition arise from the difficulty of linking conceptually and empirically disparate domains: linguistic, psychological, physiological. What is needed is not an attempt to reduce color naming to biology or to culture but, rather, an adequate conceptual account of how people may come to have and use basic color terms—an account which stands between the biological and the cultural.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089608573197
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,703
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution.Brent Berlin & Paul Kay - 1999 - Center for the Study of Language and Information.
Sensory Qualities.Austen Clark - 1992 - Clarendon Press.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Sexual Harassment and Wrongful Communication.Edmund Wall - 2001 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (4):525-537.
In Defence of “Emotion”. [REVIEW]Louis C. Charland - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):133-154.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-05-07

Total views
48 ( #227,354 of 2,462,458 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,311 of 2,462,458 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes