World Color Survey
Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information
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.