05 February 2007

‘Hardwired’ to home in on six focal colours

The Economist gets all misty eyed over colours, the emotions they evoke, and how this fundamental response crosses linguistic barriers. All in highly scientific and technical terms of course.
If humans really are hardwired to home in on six focal colours, then all languages should assign words around those six. Dr Regier, however, tests a subtler concept. He thinks that useful languages should allot words in order to minimise the perceptual difference between colours of the same category, and maximise it between colours in different categories. Unlike national boundaries, linguistic boundaries should form only in the valleys of his colour globe, never over the hills.

via Readymade News

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