[tlhIngan Hol] On Klingon colours: Is the Klingon vision bichromatic?

SuStel sustel at trimboli.name
Sun Sep 1 13:08:31 PDT 2019


On 9/1/2019 3:12 PM, Michael Kúnin wrote:
> Otherwise, if Klingons are bichromatic, then they would see any non-greyscale colour as either a variety of {Doq} or a variety of {SuD}, so it is not much possible to use colour as a defining attribute of an object. No wonder they are irritated by other species making distinctions where they see none!
>
> I wonder if there is a Klingon word meaning "be grey".

How a language divides up its color words has little to do with whether 
they can visually perceive those colors. There are real human languages 
that have the same number of color words as Klingons, but speakers of 
these languages don't lack our color vision. It's canonically speculated 
that Klingons can't see all of purple that we do, but otherwise their 
vision seems to be similar to ours.

In English we have a basic color term /pink,/ which is considered a 
different color than red. But in English when we look at blue jeans, 
then we look at the sky, we call both of them /blue./ (/Cyan/ is not a 
basic color term; it's comparing the color to something else.) But in 
Russian, for example, they use two unrelated words for the two colors. A 
Russian might incorrectly think that an English speaker who points to 
blue jeans then points to the sky and says /blue/ for both of them 
cannot see the distinct colors. But we would not point at a cherry 
blossom and say /red, /even though pink is a shade of red.

When a Klingon points at a yellow plant and says *SuD,* then points at 
the green sky and says *SuD,* it's not that they appear to be the same 
color to him. It's no different than us calling jeans and the sky 
/blue./ Different shades of color grouped under one name.

In Klingon, /be gray/ is *qIj 'ej wov* or *qIj 'ach wov*/(TalkNow). 
/Gray is a shade of black.

-- 
SuStel
http://trimboli.name

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