In the late 1960s, Berlin and Kay argued that there are commonalities of basic colour term use that extend across languages and cultures, and probably express universal features of perception and cognition. In 1992, at the Asilomar Conference Centre, visual scientists and psychologists met with linguists and anthropologists for the first time to examine how these claims have fared in the light of current knowledge. To what extent can cross-cultural regularities be explained by the operation of the human visual system? What can the study of colour categorisation tell us about concept formation? Are the Berlin-Kay results an artifact of their methods? What tools have been and should be used to probe the structure of human colour categories? In this volume, which arose from that conference but also incorporates new work, a distinguished team of contributors survey key ideas, results and techniques from the study of human colour vision, as well as field methods and theoretical interpretations drawn from linguistic anthropology.
• Distinguished cross-disciplinary line-up from science, psychology, linguistics, anthropology • Accessible and authoritative summaries of developments in the subject over the past twenty-five years • Presents significant new research, including preview of the results of the World Color Survey
1. Introduction C. L. Hardin and Luisa Maffi; Part I. The World Color Survey: 2. Color naming across languages Paul Kay, Brent Berlin, Luisa Maffi and William Merrifield; Par tII. Visual Psychologists: 3. The psychophysics of color Bill Wooten, David L. Miller; 4. Physiological mechanisms of color vision Israel Abramov; 5. The neuropsychology of color Jules Davidoff; 6. Insights gained from naming the OSA colors Robert M. Boynton; 7. Beyond the elements: investigations of hue David L. Miller; 8. Color systems for cognitive research Lars Sivik; Part III. Anthropologists and Linguists: 9. Establishing basic color terms: measures and techniques Greville G. Corbett and Ian R. L. Davies; 10. Color shift: evolution of English color terms from brightness to hue Ronald Casson; 11. Two observations on culture contact and the Japanese color nomenclature system James Stanlaw; 12. Skewing and darkening: dynamics of the cool category Robert E. MacLaury; 13. Genes, opsins, neurons, and color categories: closing the gaps Stephen L. Zegura; Part IV. Dissenting Voices: 14. It's not really red, green, yellow, blue: an inquiry into perpetual color space Kimberly Jameson and Roy G. D'Andrade; 15. The linguistics of 'color' John A. Lucy; 16. Closing thoughts Luisa Maffi and C. L. Hardin.