The work reported in this monograph was begun in the winter of 1967 in a graduate seminar at Berkeley. Many of the basic data were gathered by members of the seminar and the theoretical framework presented here was initially developed in the context of the seminar discussions.
Much has been discovered since1969, the date of original publication, regarding the psychophysical and neurophysical determinants of universal, cross-linguistic constraints on the shape of basic color lexicons, and something, albeit less, can now also be said with some confidence regarding the constraining effects of these language-independent processes of color perception and conceptualization on the direction of evolution of basic color term lexicons.
The World Color Survey
Paul Kay, Brent Berlin, Luisa Maffi, William R. Merrifield, and Richard Cook CSLI, 2009 Library of Congress P341.B45 2009 | Dewey Decimal 412
The 1969 publication of Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's Basic Color Terms proved explosive and controversial. Contrary to the then-popular doctrine of random language variation, Berlin and Kay's multilingual study of color nomenclature indicated a cross-cultural and almost universal pattern in the selection of colors that received abstract names in each language. The ensuing debate helped reform the views of anthropologists, linguists, and psychologists alike. After four decades in print, Basic Color Terms now has a sequel: in this book, the authors authoritatively extend the original survey, studying 110 additional unwritten languages in detail and in situ. The results are presented with charts showing the overall palette of color terms within each language as well as the levels of agreement among speakers.