Designing Color words for your conlang

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WesleyDeanT
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Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by WesleyDeanT »

Come check out my videos and maybe get some ideas for your conlangs. This one is about dividing the color wheel, and not being arbitrary about it. I'd love to hear comments from you all!

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... -in-poetry
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sangi39
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by sangi39 »

WesleyDeanT wrote: 02 Oct 2020 21:55 Come check out my videos and maybe get some ideas for your conlangs. This one is about dividing the color wheel, and not being arbitrary about it. I'd love to hear comments from you all!

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... -in-poetry
Not to be a "downer", but this seems to be a case of "colours have metaphorical meaning", as opposed to what seems to be more... common(?) amongst natlangs, that certain metaphorical meanings are attributed to colours (which still isn't universal).
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by eldin raigmore »

sangi39 wrote: 03 Oct 2020 04:18 Not to be a "downer", but this seems to be a case of "colours have metaphorical meaning", as opposed to what seems to be more... common(?) amongst natlangs, that certain metaphorical meanings are attributed to colours (which still isn't universal).
A case of putting the heart before the course, right?
Salmoneus
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by Salmoneus »

sangi39 wrote: 03 Oct 2020 04:18
WesleyDeanT wrote: 02 Oct 2020 21:55 Come check out my videos and maybe get some ideas for your conlangs. This one is about dividing the color wheel, and not being arbitrary about it. I'd love to hear comments from you all!

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetry ... -in-poetry
Not to be a "downer", but this seems to be a case of "colours have metaphorical meaning", as opposed to what seems to be more... common(?) amongst natlangs, that certain metaphorical meanings are attributed to colours (which still isn't universal).
To be a downer, that essay mostly seems to be a case of "wannabe poem got drunk (or took LSD?) and just kept talking".

I also assume it's not the link the OP meant to post?
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Snyexarosha
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by Snyexarosha »

This thread caught my eye but is sadly very small! Especially since the way we see color, codify it in our languages, and then use it figuratively is so interesting. I've found Berlin and Kay's 1969 typology to be useful in thinking about color, although it has been critiqued and revised since. Their original idea of the universals guiding color terminology was the following (from Wikipedia):

1. All languages contain terms for black and white.
2. If a language contains three terms, then it contains a term for red.
3. If a language contains four terms, then it contains a term for either green or yellow (but not both).
4. If a language contains five terms, then it contains terms for both green and yellow.
5. If a language contains six terms, then it contains a term for blue.
6. If a language contains seven terms, then it contains a term for brown.
7. If a language contains eight or more terms, then it contains terms for purple, pink, orange or gray.

Although their rather stringent claims have been called into question, it does seem that there some kind of universal truth behind the way humans see color. A reworked version of their thesis, proposed in 1999 by Kay and Maffi, states that:

1. All languages distinguish black and white.
2. If a language distinguishes further, then it is between warm colors and cool colors.
3. If a language distinguishes further, then it is to distinguish red.

While naturally there is still ongoing debate about this, I still think there are some major takeaways. For instance, just the idea that languages can have two colors, and that if they do they are always dark and light, has expanded my own perception of what should be important and included in my own conlang. The nearly-universal saliency of red is also really curious to me. I suppose there is a biological reason for this, but Kay and Maffi note that virtually no ocular research has investigated this. That was in 1999--maybe things have changed?
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Man in Space
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by Man in Space »

One thing I do in some of my conlangs: White and yellow overlap. Light yellow strikes me as kind of the least-saturated of colors vis-à-vis how white it looks, so I figured some of my languages would do that.
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elemtilas
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by elemtilas »

Colourspace is a fascinating topic, though I'm somewhat confused as to what the OP's link was for. Anyway!

In the World, I believe that the Teyor are polychromats. Their colour words must be quite beyond imagination!

The Denê are split: females are tetrachromats and you just can't argue with them on matters of colour; while males experience some form of NIR(+) monochromaticity. Some males, I think, are actual grey scale visualisers. Most males seem to be sepiavisioned with extended red ranges. Some I believe can actually see a few washed out colours and might thus be tritaneropes. Mostly, Tana males are best at shade discrimination, micromotion detection and low light vision. All sexes can visualise the spiritual world.

Hotai can see NIR quite well.

Werres are trichromats though some have the ability to visualise auras and thus are near-spriitual visualisers.

Serren are tritaneropes.

Polupodes ... well, no one's been able to figure out how to talk with them as of yet!
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by eldin raigmore »

If I have to come up with color terms for my “space centipedes” I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

My humans see just like we do and I know which colors I want them to have basic terms for.
It’s a rather numerous set; but I haven’t come up with the actual words themselves yet.
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LinguistCat
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Re: Designing Color words for your conlang

Post by LinguistCat »

eldin raigmore wrote: 19 Mar 2021 07:06 If I have to come up with color terms for my “space centipedes” I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

My humans see just like we do and I know which colors I want them to have basic terms for.
It’s a rather numerous set; but I haven’t come up with the actual words themselves yet.
I might have bit off a bit too much with my cat people although at least I can kind of base it off of red-green color blindness to some extent.
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