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The Semantics of Colour
A Historical Approach

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521899925

$103.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Human societies name and classify colours in various ways. Knowing this, is it possible to retrieve colour systems from the past? This book presents the basic principles of modern colour semantics, including the recognition of basic vocabulary, subsets, specialised terms and the significance of non-colour features. Each point is illustrated by case studies drawn from modern and historical languages from around the world. These include discussions of Icelandic horses, Peruvian guinea-pigs, medieval roses, the colour yellow in Stuart England, and Polynesian children's colour terms. Major techniques used in colour research are presented and discussed, such as the evolutionary sequence, Natural Semantic Metalanguage and Vantage Theory. The book also addresses whether we can understand the colour systems of the past, including prehistory, by combining various semantic techniques currently used in both modern and historical colour research with archaeological and environmental information.

    • Discusses the crucial differences between modern and historical colour studies
    • Includes a large number of case studies on various aspects of colour semantics, drawn from both modern and historical languages from around the world
    • Investigates the possibilities for prehistoric colour semantic studies
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521899925
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 12 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. What is colour?
    2. What is colour semantics?
    3. Basic colour terms
    4. Non-basic and non-standard colour expressions
    5. Basic colour categories
    6. The evolutionary sequence
    7. Different approaches
    8. Historical projects: preliminaries
    9. Synchronic studies
    10. Diachronic studies
    11. Prehistoric colour studies
    12. Applications and potential.

  • Author

    C. P. Biggam, University of Glasgow
    C. P. Biggam is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow and a Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Director of the Anglo-Saxon Plant-Name Survey, and a committee member for the Progress in Colour Studies conference series. She has published books and articles on semantics, Anglo-Saxon studies, colour studies and plant-names.

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