[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Anthropology of Colour

To: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 16:24:44 -0400
Message-id: <47DED38C.8030907@xxxxxxxx>
I wrote:    (01)

>> That is the point I thought should not be lost: Formalization turns
>> adjectives, including colour attribution, into predicates ("verbs").    (02)

Pat Hayes wrote:
> I wouldn't say for a second that predicates in FOL have any clear 
> connection with verbs in English.    (03)

Upon reflection, I have to agree.  Logical predicates seem to represent 
nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs without prejudice.  What I really 
had in mind was that failing to disambiguate "is red" from "red" is what 
we do with logical predicates.  But "to be" is a very special verb in 
every language I have encountered, so my generalization from "behaving 
like 'is'" to "behaving like verbs" is at least risky. ;-)    (04)

>> Now, in many of these languages, 'is red' is indistinguishable from
>> 'turns red' or 'turned red'.
> I wonder if these languages had a construction that we might render as 
> 'staying red' or 'maintaining red' which disambiguated in the other 
> direction?    (05)

Now there you have me.  I suppose they might, if that concept had its 
own significance, like "evergreen".  In nature, I think most colours 
don't tend to 'stay' very long, and I assume that most of the language 
of colour arose from observations of nature. As Sean said, it is all 
about how language formed in the role of expressing a conceptualization 
of the world.    (06)

My understanding of this is limited to what I read some time ago, and I 
would have to look through my cache of books (not PDF) to find it.  I 
think the examples were of African and native American languages, but if 
it turned out to be true of Turkish and Thai, it wouldn't really 
surprise me.  The idea was part of undermining Western assumptions about 
language structure based on ignorance, and that is a recurrent theme in 
a number of the linguistics works I have read in the last 20 years.    (07)

-Ed    (08)

P.S. My problem is that I remember a lot of *what* I read, but it 
doesn't take me very long to forget *where* I read it.  So it takes me a 
week to find a specific reference.  "The Anthropology of Colour" sounds 
like a good addition to my collection of interesting but probably 
useless knowledge.    (09)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (010)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (011)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (012)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>