Author Topic: Blue-green conundrum  (Read 1173 times)

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2019, 07:10:36 PM »

Lots of languages have the same word for blue and green.
In Japanese they have separate words, but the word for green is relatively modern and they still call say some green plants and traffic lights are blue. How thick!

So that’s greeks, Japanese, and all children on my thicko “don’t even know the sky is blue” list.

Embarrassing for them - hope they don’t read this thread

Johnny Yesno

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2019, 08:23:02 PM »

Lots of languages have the same word for blue and green.
In Japanese they have separate words, but the word for green is relatively modern and they still call say some green plants and traffic lights are blue. How thick!

The colour name 'pink' wasn't coined until the 17th century, but could people perceive it before then? Of course they could. Those flowers were pale red (except for the the ones that weren't).

Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2019, 08:38:13 PM »
Blue is also presumably from the french, whereas all the other core english colour words sound like hearty native anglo-saxon - red, white, black, green, brown, yellow. I wonder what the chromosociolinguistics (OED here I come) behind that were.

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2019, 08:52:19 PM »
1960s Doctor Who was in black and white and apparently it was because the first and second Doctors were colour-blind.

Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2019, 09:05:59 PM »
Dont forget the algae!

canadagoose

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2019, 09:15:05 PM »
Blue is also presumably from the french, whereas all the other core english colour words sound like hearty native anglo-saxon - red, white, black, green, brown, yellow. I wonder what the chromosociolinguistics (OED here I come) behind that were.
Almost. Kind of an odd path, but still from Germanic roots:

Quote
From Middle English blewe, partially from Old English *blǣw ("blue"; found in derivative blǣwen (“bluish”)); and partially from Anglo-Norman blew, blef (“blue”), from Old Frankish *blāw, *blāo (“blue”) (perhaps through a Medieval Latin blāvus, blāvius (“blue”)); both from Proto-Germanic *blēwaz (“blue, dark blue”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰlēw- (“yellow, blond, grey”).

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2019, 09:17:22 PM »
Dont forget the algae!

Haven’t met them to be honest.

Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2019, 09:04:20 AM »
The colour name 'pink' wasn't coined until the 17th century, but could people perceive it before then? Of course they could. Those flowers were pale red (except for the the ones that weren't).

I didn't mean to suggest Japanese people couldn't perceive blue and green. :8

Johnny Yesno

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2019, 10:56:43 AM »
I didn't mean to suggest Japanese people couldn't perceive blue and green. :8

Sorry, yes, I was just adding to the body of evidence in this thread that having names for individual shades of colours does not affect our ability to perceive them. As I understand it, weak Sapir-Whorf suggests that the way we name things might influence what we consider to be important.

Your post put me in mind of Buelligan's post about the ancient Greeks and honey. I think a more prosaic but convincing explanation is simply that the yellow of honey is in the range of hues they grouped under their word for 'green'.

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2019, 03:23:35 PM »
I'd say it was pretty obvious that people, in general, see the same colours irrespective of what words they used to describe them. 

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2019, 07:00:46 PM »
I'd say it was pretty obvious that people, in general, see the same colours irrespective of what words they used to describe them.

I bet eskimos can see a minimum of 1400 distinct colours for snow.

Buelligan

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2019, 08:15:10 AM »
They all do after I've finished with them.

I think you read my mind sometimes though, heheh.

Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2019, 09:33:49 AM »
I saw a documentary about child genius composer Alma Deutscher and I remember her parents (her dad's a linguist) saying how they never told her the sky was blue:

From Wiki:
Quote
In 2010 Guy Deutscher characterised Alma's musical creativity as a central part of her imagination.[7] In her first years of life, Alma was the subject of her father's language experiments related to his professional research.[60] As reported in The Nation he made sure never to tell her the sky was "blue", in an effort to understand why ancient cultures never used this term for the sky. Her perceptions, especially calling the clear sky "white" were reported in Guy Deutscher's 2010 book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages.[61]

Buelligan

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2019, 10:01:49 AM »
Yes, that's him, the man from the podcast that I was rattling on about that obviously no fucker listened to.  Heheh, it's extremely interesting IMO, you fucks.

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Re: Blue-green conundrum
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2019, 02:08:50 PM »
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Her perceptions, especially calling the clear sky "white"

Hedging her bets with that one.