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

Rhona Fenwick qeslagh at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 3 11:15:26 PDT 2019

That doesn't break the Berlin-Kay pattern though. If a language only has terms for "white", "black", "red" and "yellow", that doesn't mean that they can't name any colours that don't fall into what an English speaker would consider those colours to be. It just means that the definitions are broader - like in those languages that lack a distinction between "blue" and "green". When such a distinction is absent, that doesn't mean one of those colours doesn't have a name: it means that both "blue" and "green" fall under the same term.

What's more, subsequent work has shown that the Berlin-Kay hierarchy isn't universal; it only describes a tendency. Ubykh, for instance, has basic terms for white, black, red, yellow, and blue/green, but also has a term for grey, which breaks across several levels of the Berlin-Kay model.
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