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Colour Question...

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Colour Question...

Postby b4d0m3n » Sun 11.27.2005 8:49 am

Are midori, haiiro and murasaki the only colours to use 'no' when becoming adjectives? Would my assesment be correct here:

はいいろ の いぬ が すき です。

I like grey dogs.

くろい ねこ は きれい です。

The black cat is pretty.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby zengargoyle » Sun 11.27.2005 9:26 am

i think that only the basic six colors are -i adjectives: akai, aoi, kuroi, shiroi, kiiroi, chairoi
and everything else uses 'no'. even then, kiiro and chairo can also use 'no'.

anyway, other 'no' colors: nezumiiro, daidaiiro, i'm sure there are more...
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby b4d0m3n » Sun 11.27.2005 9:42 am

That's crazy. What's the pattern there?
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby zengargoyle » Sun 11.27.2005 10:43 am

see this page: http://www.sf.airnet.ne.jp/~ts/japanese/color.html and especially the first two Further readings linked at the bottom.

basically it seems to be a linguistic feature that arises from the way the eye works and the brain/mind/whatever catagorizes the world of color. languages around the world have the non-colors 'light/dark' (white/black), next comes a word for red (blood). some languages only have these three words... if there is a fourth word, it's usually green/blue (plant/sky/sea), the fifth is yellow/brown (sun/earth). after that, new words are usually finer distinctions of those colors, blue seperates from green, yellow from brown, other less important colors are named from something in the world that has that color: orange, violet, peach, and the like.

ancient japanese only had the four words: aka, ao, kuro, shiro. midori and the like weren't used as a color names until recently.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby AJBryant » Sun 11.27.2005 12:45 pm

ancient japanese only had the four words: aka, ao, kuro, shiro. midori and the like weren't used as a color names until recently.


Hate to tell you this, but that's patently untrue. Look at any Nara or Heian reference for fashion or dyeing and you'll see an incredible variety of color terms.

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RE: Colour Question...

Postby mandolin » Sun 11.27.2005 1:35 pm

"recently" being used to mean "more recent than ancient japanese".

Takasugi-san means in the linguistic development of the entire language, Nara and Heian periods did not come at or near the inception of language itself.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby AJBryant » Sun 11.27.2005 4:44 pm

And given that protoJapanese was a totally oral language, and writing not introduced until the 600s, it's impossible to prove a statement like "ancient Japan had few words for color." When writing was in vogue, the wealth of terms for colors is astounding. Surely you don't think those words came out of nowhere?


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RE: Colour Question...

Postby mandolin » Sun 11.27.2005 4:59 pm

I think it'd do you a bit of good to research something before making wild guesses based on conjecture.

There are people who study linguistics, and across all languages, there are patterns. One of these patterns happens to be the classification of colors with verbal acknowledgement.

Initially, a language has words for light/dark (not necessarily white/black). Then comes a word for red. Then blue/green (no distinction made). Sometimes, brown can be named before the blue/green. Distinguishing blue from green is one of the last major developments.

In this instance, eleven 'basic' colors are identified, and outside those eleven, they are identified as shades of the basics. Often, they are given names of items that share the color (eg. orange, violet, etc) rather than given a unique name of their own.

So, new color-words don't come from nowhere, they come from objects readily identified by a certain hue, but are not color words themselves until applied in that manner.

Ancient manners of speaking filter through the ages and exist in modern language. Those who study it can piece together enough. Unless you can say why 'akarui' means "light" as opposed to something red ("aka").

I'm no lingustics expert, but I do enjoy reading their papers and theories, especially when a topic like this makes them pertinent to a conversation.

EDIT: disabling smilies... again...
Last edited by mandolin on Sun 11.27.2005 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby faan-san » Sun 11.27.2005 8:33 pm

In this instance, eleven 'basic' colors are identified, and outside those eleven, they are identified as shades of the basics.


-Basic Prism-
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Indigo
Violet

-"Non-Colors"-
White
Black
Brown

o.O I only count 10...what is # 11?
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby b4d0m3n » Sun 11.27.2005 9:21 pm

So... could we go back to my original question. I beg pardon, but the site confuses the crud out of me.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby faan-san » Sun 11.27.2005 9:29 pm

きいろの
kiirono
yellow


ちゃいろの
chyairono
brown


みどりいろの
midoriirono
green


むらさきいろの
murasakiirono
purple

-----
Colors that take の(no), referrenced in Japanese for Busy People I (kana version).
-----
はいろの
haiirono
gray
(referrence = my JP dictionary)
Last edited by faan-san on Sun 11.27.2005 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 11.27.2005 9:40 pm

I think we rather like our tangents on this site, but I think that your question was actually fairly well answered.

Zengargoyle:
i think that only the basic six colors are -i adjectives: akai, aoi, kuroi, shiroi, kiiroi, chairoi
and everything else uses 'no'. even then, kiiro and chairo can also use 'no'.


As for the pattern, I think that it's the fact that that most colors use the の connection (being nouns) and that there are a few colors that are also natively adjectives (using the い) connector.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby mandolin » Sun 11.27.2005 9:58 pm

Yeah, I thought their question had been answered, too. I thought we all managed to do a pretty good job of getting a question answered before we ran off on tangents.... usually.

The pattern is... the old, 'ancient' (take that how you will) colors have been adopted as nouns that can take adjective form. NewER colors haven't.

Think back to the first time someone made 'orange dye' for garments. I haven't researched this -- but I would think that someone would have remarked "My, that cloth is the color of an orange!" And eventually, for convenience, was said "an orange cloth".

the word for "grey" in japanese derives from the word for "ash" and the word for "color". So when you say "hairo no" you are saying "of ash-color" or more appropriately, "of the same color as ash".

Over time, they'll get adopted into the language as adjectives in and of themselves just as shiro, kuro, aka, ao already have.

I've noted the difference in different texts. As Zengaroyale says kiiroi and chairoi are acceptable as adjectives, Faan-san's text claims otherwise, stating both yellow and brown should take the 'no' particle instead. Perhaps the lines are already beginning to blur?

faan-san wrote:

o.O I only count 10...what is # 11?


I'll clip directly from one of the papers I read on this...

Basic colour terms are colour words which:

- are highly salient

- their extensions aren’t included within those of any other colour terms

So in English the basic colour terms are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, grey, black and white.

--- Bayesian Learning of Linguistic Categories, "Explaining Colour Term Typology"


The paper toward the end also says that it is possible for more color terms to -become- basic. Being basic just means that a large group of people of the same language would select from a range of shades a specific one that represents a color the best, and nearly everyone would pick the exact shame shade. For instance... a perfect 'red' or a perfect 'blue'.

So if speakers of American English all would start to pick a particular shade of yellow as "Chartreuse" it would become basic.

Thus far, all languages they studied (110 of them) have capped at 11 basic terms. Not always the same colors from language to language, except the standard prism colors are a theme throughout.

Some languages, such as Dani (spoken in regions of southern Africa) still only have light/dark.

Some languages still don't differentiate blue/green.

EDIT: added the bit about the pattern here...
Last edited by mandolin on Sun 11.27.2005 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 11.27.2005 11:18 pm

Going on a little more on the color theory,
I was under the impression that Orange was a loan word from Sanskrit. That's why nothing rhymes with orange. That's of course just something that I heard from a number of people, and have no way to back up, BUT...
If orange is a loan word, how can it be one of the basic colors of english?
Also, shouldn't basic english color words all be Germanic in origin? Blue, I thought, comes from bleu (French).

Or am I just completely off my rocker. :/
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RE: Colour Question...

Postby mandolin » Sun 11.27.2005 11:28 pm

Being a basic color word is defined (in the things I read) as being something that everyone (or nearly everyone) will agree on as a 'prototype' color, that 'perfect' mix of hue, saturation, and lightness. When a color-word can satisfy that image, it is a basic color-word linguistically speaking, regardless of the etymology/origin.
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