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Re: [ontolog-forum] Anthropology of Colour

To: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 10:15:41 -0500
Message-id: <p06230908c3fef24b6d1c@[]>
At 2:56 PM +0000 3/13/08, Barker, Sean (UK) wrote:
>This mail is publicly posted to a distribution list as part of a process
>of public discussion, any automatically generated statements to the
>contrary non-withstanding. It is the opinion of the author, and does not
>represent an official company view.
>Sean Barker
>BAE SYSTEMS - Advanced Technology Centre
>Bristol, UK
>+44(0) 117 302 8184
>BAE Systems (Operations) Limited
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>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@xxxxxxx]
>>  Sent: 13 March 2008 14:31
>>  To: [ontolog-forum]
>>  Cc: Barker, Sean (UK)
>>  Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Anthropology of Colour
>>  But there is also independent psychophysical evidence for
>>  color archetypes which are culture-independent. Not everyone
>>  calls our fire-engine red "red", but everyone agrees that
>>  whatever color name one has, that is the most typical example
>>  of it. Similarly with 'bright yellow' and 'bright blue'.
>Everyone? The reason I add the question mark is that the first figure in
>the book shows the contour plots for each colour of samples chosen from
>a standard chart (Munsell stimulus space). Yellow in particular seems to
>show quite a spread.    (01)

Yes. If you ask people to draw a boundary around 'yellow', they will 
vary a lot and even disagree with themselves from day to day. And 
other cultures and languages have different boundaries for various 
color terms. Still, the 'most typical' or 'best' exemplar is far more 
consistent and seems to be language-independent. Or at any rate, this 
was widely accepted the last time I looked, which was quite a few 
years ago. Maybe this too has changed.    (02)

>Green also shows a considerable variation in hue
>(though that was not on your list of bright colours).    (03)

I'm not sure if there a prototypical green. Being a painter myself, 
if I ever had one I have now lost it in the confusion of green 
pigments :-)    (04)

Pat    (05)

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